Dublin U20 boss Tom Gray has said the decision to bring forward the underage football championship to early spring was “myopic” and a “disgrace”.
EirGrid Leinster U20 holders Dublin are on the brink of back-to-back titles and play Laois in the provincial final. But Gray, who guided Dublin to last year’s All-Ireland final against Cork when the competition was played between late June and early August, said the timing of the 2020 tournament is terrible.
Dublin began their Leinster campaign against Wicklow on February 8 and the All-Ireland final is scheduled for March 28 with the semi-finals due to take place at Croke Park on March 17.
“I think the idea of having the competition at this time of the year is an absolute disgrace,” blasted Gray.
“I think the thought process behind it was ... to say it was myopic would be understating it. We’ve a lot guys who are doing exams, mock exams, we have freshers in college and to push a competition back into this time of year was short-sighted in the extreme.
To try to develop players in the conditions that we’re having and in the timeframe of the competition at the moment is... look, we’re doing our best but it’s far from ideal.
Dublin don’t have any U-20 players on the senior panel but other counties experience U20/senior crossover and he reckons they’d be impacted.
“In relation to players playing National League, and not being eligible then to play in this competition, it probably won’t really affect Dublin but I do think it’s incredibly unfair on counties like Meath, like Laois.
The GAA needs to have a good look at itself in relation to the timing of this competition and the rules that govern it.