Murphy wants county panels again reduced to 24 players

LAST NIGHT’S Cork County Board meeting heard a call for panels of inter county teams to be again reduced to 24 players.

The comment was made by County Secretary, Frank Murphy, during a lengthy debate on championship fixtures.

“The board needs to give some direction on the matter similar to what it did last year. Our championship programme cannot be held up by players who would not be included on the first 24 of our inter county teams. It’s totally unfair to our championships.

“As of now it looks like the Senior Football Championship will run into November if games continue to be postponed because of the 30 man panel of our inter county teams.”

Central Council delegate, Bob Honohan, said he constantly opposed the 30 man panels, “and you can now see the problems it creates for the board trying to run its championships.”

“The board needs to show leadership in the matter and I propose that a meeting with the various selection committees be held to come to some agreement. We need the co-operation of all concerned.”

It was unanimously agreed that the meeting should take place so as to allow the smooth running of the various grades of county championships.

Dublin chairman John Bailey yesterday refused to confirm whether Kevin Heffernan and Mick Holden are still in the frame to take over the county’s senior hurlers.

Holden was initially approached by the county board to replace Humphrey Kelleher, who was sacked last week.

Having then asked Heffernan - Dublin’s legendary football manager in the ‘70s - to come on board, Holden was hoping to be joined by former hurling manager Marty Morris.

However, Morris’ involvement was subsequently vetoed by the county executive and it seems Heffernan may have lost all interest in playing a part, although Holden may still be keen to have some involvement.

The reason for the board’s opposition to Morris rejoining the management set-up is believed to stem from the fallout emanating from his decision to quit as senior hurling manager two years ago.

The Dublin Board meets again next Monday and the hurlers are due to play their first All-Ireland qualifier only five days, June 18. Bailey says the county would be able to field on that date.

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