GAA Football

CPA has ended uncertainty for club players - Micheal Briody

Micheal Briody Chairman CPA (right) and Declan Brennan at the launch in January 2017.

YOUNG GAA club players should be grateful to the Club Players' Association, even if they're unaware it ever existed, according to its chairman.

"Since before the [football] qualifiers came in [2001] there's never been certainty at club level," said Micheal Briody. "That's going to be different now for any young lads joining GAA panels, hurling or football, the length and breadth of the county.

"They'll never realise it because they won't see the uncertainty that the current generation, or my generation when we played, has seen."

In its statement confirmed its dissolution after an Extraordinary General Meeting, the CPA recalled how it 'was established in 2016 and launched in 2017 by a group of GAA volunteers to lobby and campaign on the single issue of fixing the fixtures for all players.

'This was driven by alarm bells over GAA player participation and drop-out levels. It was due to serious concerns related to players' physical and mental wellbeing, because of the demands and uncertainty of the playing season.

'With Congress at the weekend making the historic decision to institute a split season model, the CPA Executive considers its task is now complete.'

Briody said that the decision to end the CPA was made "definitely with a sense of satisfaction and obviously with that comes pride, that we started with an objective four years ago to 'fix the fixtures' and to be at a stage now where we believe they're fixed.

"It was unanimous that 'This is the time to go'. We don't want to wait around and look for other issues. We came in to sort an issue.

"Our executive changed at times over the years – but we were singular in our objective. We achieved our objective.

"We were asked at our launch back in January '17, 'When the fixtures are fixed, what then?'

"Even at Congress that year the talk was 'What will they be looking for? Will they be looking for money? Position? What next?

"We said, when we fix the fixtures, we will dissolve. We have to stay true to our word and we're happy to do it, more than happy."

In its parting statement the CPA offered thanks 'to all players and GAA members who participated in surveys, sent us season models and ideas (all were read and given consideration), offered feedback, provided encouragement and constructive criticism.

'We are grateful for the contributions of our executive members past and present, including Declan Brennan. We also thank the GPA for their co-operation and support. Thanks to GAA management for the ongoing engagement. We are also grateful to the media for the opportunities and platforms to discuss and debate our ideas.'

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