The GAA’s new national club committee is not a knee-jerk reaction to the Club Players Association, according to its chairman Mick Rock.

The eight-person committee, established in recent weeks by GAA president John Horan, meets for the first time this evening.

Rock, a former president of Connacht Council, says his committee will be a voice for clubs and is open to engaging with the CPA.

Chief among Rock’s targets during his three-year tenure is to put the club back on similar footing with the inter-county scene.

“I don’t think anyone set out to do down the clubs, but things have evolved. The status and profile of clubs have been relegated.

“They are very much on the hind tit at the moment,” he insisted.

“A lot of clubs are going through the motions, they are losing a certain amount of their enthusiasm and zest.

“We want to improve the profile of clubs, to give expression to the concept of the club being the basic unit of the association and to see can we redress the imbalance that has been created over the last number of decades by the expansion of the game at county level.

“Then you have other challenges like the huge demographic changes where in the west of Ireland we have a raft of amalgamations beginning to emerge.

“And they are emerging in a laissez-faire way. They need to be thought out and planned better.

“At the other end, you have urban sprawl which is creating difficulties for clubs to get penetration in those areas.

“Our function will be to become a voice for clubs. If we can come up with some practical solutions that the association adapt and go forward with, then we’d have done a good days work.”

Rock was enthused by the level of club activity during this club-only month of April, despite 20 counties opting not to start their local football championships.

“While it was not ever going to be the solution to everything, when we look back on what has happened through the month of April, you will see that in every county there has been more meaningful club activity, with county players involved, than there was in years previous.”


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