GAA Football

McGuigan: I'd refuse to play midweek championship games

Tyrone legend Frank McGuigan says if he was still playing today, he would refuse to play championship games on a working day.

TYRONE legend Frank McGuigan says that if he was playing today, he would “refuse point-blank” to play a club championship on a working day under lights.

McGuigan, widely regarded as one of the greatest forwards to have played the game, was a plasterer by trade and feels that construction workers are being unfairly treated by the move towards midweek games.

Tyrone's schedule for the first round of their senior championship spreads games from Thursday 22 until Monday, September 26.

Arguably the three biggest ties will be played on weekdays, with Trillick v Dungannon on the Thursday, Dromore v Killyclogher on the Friday and Carrickmore v Coalisland on the Monday night.

“I would like to express my horror and anger from hearing that Tyrone Championship games have been arranged for midweek play under lights,” McGuigan said in an email to The Irish News.

“No championship game should be played midweek under lights for a number of reasons.

“Some players work in construction and if a plasterer or a brickie is working in, for example, Belfast, then how can he be expected to leave home at 7am, do a day's hard work, come home, travel to Omagh and then give 100%?

“Some players have told me that playing under the lights makes it so difficult to judge high balls, most difficult for goalkeepers and players who wear contact lenses.

“Now that schools are open again, parents have to take children to games meaning they are then not home to 10 or 11pm and then get up early for school.

“I know how much a day's plastering can take out of one and if I was playing today, I would refuse point blank to play evening games under lights, and that is what teams and players must make a stand on,” said the Ardboe native.

GAA Football