GAA Football

Armagh Gael Michael Geoghegan named first chairman of GAA Development Control Committee

Armagh Gael Michael Geoghegan has been named the first chairman of the GAA's new Development Control Committee. Pic Philip Walsh.
Andy Watters

FORMER Ulster GAA PRO and Armagh County Board officer Michael Geoghegan has been appointed chairman of Croke Park's new Development Control Committee.

The Middletown clubman will oversee a team that has been tasked with organising and running of games from U12 level up to the U17 (minor) grade including all schools and colleges fixtures. The committee will include representatives from all four provinces as well the GAA's Competitions Control Committee (CCC).

Well-organised and hard-working, Geoghegan served very capably for three years on the national CCC, and is now part of the GAA's Hearings committee. His new role was confirmed by Central Council.

“It'll be busy enough,” he said.

“I spoke to John Horan (GAA President) last week and he told me they were setting this up so to get the chair of it is an honour. It's good to get it and it's good for Armagh, it's a bit of recognition for the county and the club. It's something new, I'm the first chair of this committee and we'll be looking after games from U17 right down to U12 – blitzes at all age grades and tournaments and the Feile competition.

“I haven't got the entire terms of reference yet but the committee will look at the underage system in football and really what you will be doing is controlling competitions and organising competitions.

“The underage system is something that has to be reviewed, everything is always under review, and we'll do that in conjunction with the games administration managers in the provinces. There is one in each province so we'll be taking advice from them.

“We'll look at the minor grade and colleges competitions so we'll be involved in a lot of stuff. For example if you take the colleges competitions in the four provinces… That's a lot of games, so it will take a lot of work to do a review on that.”

Of course today's underage players are the stars of tomorrow and Geoghegan's committee will look at issues like burn-out and drop-out – to massive hurdles on the pathway from underage to senior level in the GAA.

“I'm looking forward to it, it's a bit of a challenge,” he said.

“What we get done this year could depend on the whole Coronavirus situation, at the minute it's hard to know what games are going to be played, and we still have games outstanding. The MacRory Cup final is still outstanding and we'll be hoping to play it but it's hard to say what will be done on the field this year. Behind the scenes we'll be meeting by conference call until the coronavirus clears up.

“It's an important committee moving forward because it's important to keep youngsters involved in Gaelic Games from underage right up to senior level with their clubs, we all want to see them come the whole way through.

“We all know about player burn-out, we all know about youngsters leaving the game and they can be lost to other sports, or to all sport. So you want to hold on to them, that's the important thing.”

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