GAA Football

Cork proposals could set "worrying precedent" says CPA chief

Under proposals that will be voted on next Tuesday, Cork inter-county players could be taken out of club championship action for two games next summer. Picture by Seamus Loughran

PROPOSALS that inter-county players be excused from club championship action in Cork would be “a worrying precedent” if they were passed, says CPA chief Micheál Briody.

Clubs in the Rebel county will take a vote next Tuesday night on three options for the restructure of their club championships.

The first option would see three groups of four teams playing one game in April and then two in August before continuing into the knockout stages.

Option B would involve four smaller groups of three teams and the championship wouldn’t begin until August.

However the third, and most controversial, option is that the 12 teams are split into two groups of six. One group game in April and two in August would involve county players, but two more would be played in the months of May, June or July, with inter-county players unavailable for both.

If clubs voted the latter proposal through, it would represent an historic GAA first whereby inter-county players would be excluded from club championship action.

CPA chairman Briody admits that Cork, because of the size of its playing population (the biggest in Ireland), have particular difficulty trying to appease clubs when they are without county players.

But he feels that it would create further divisions between club and county.

“It would be [a worrying precedent]. It would never work, because then you’d never let a club player off to the development squads or encourage him to go and play with the county, so it’s going to be counter-intuitive.

“I think it’s interesting that it’s put in there, as in option A and B might not be ideal in the traditional sense, but the alternative in option C. I don’t know the Cork psyche and how they view this.

“My preference would be option B. Even starting one game in April and two in August is not ideal for a club player, you’re talking about four months in between and it can be completely different teams you play against.

“It could cascade. If option C did happen, it’d be more or less the clubs saying: " ‘We are agreeing to the division of club and county’. I don’t think anyone wants that.

“I will commend Cork for putting the proposal out. They’ve come up with viable solutions and it’s for the clubs of Cork to vote on them.

“Counties are trying to sort their own championship structures to fit, and that’s them having to adapt to what’s been voted in at Congress. They have to do that at county board level.”

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