Inter-county players vote for platform to report training breaches

Motion 3 at yesterday evening's AGM of the Gaelic Players Association proposed to allow 'players to report confidentially any local breaches of closed season training regulations' and received 96% support.
Inter-county players vote for platform to report training breaches

Gaelic Players Association CEO Paul Flynn said that implementing a defined off season which is properly observed by county squads is a major issue for the players body. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Inter-county players have voted to introduce a 'confidential disclosure' platform to report breaches of off season training regulations.

Motion 3 at yesterday evening's AGM of the Gaelic Players Association proposed to allow 'players to report confidentially any local breaches of closed season training regulations' and received 96% support.

The motion recommended the development of a special platform 'to help review squad adherence to off season' regulations.

It stemmed from the ESRI report of 2018 in which '40% of inter-county players admitted having no off-season in the calendar year while the 2019 GPA survey showed that 67% of players would be supportive of stronger player adherence to no inter-county training before December 1'.

GPA CEO Paul Flynn said that implementing a defined off season which is properly observed by county squads is a major issue for the players body.

"It's one of the key strategic initiatives from my perspective, to deliver on an off-season for inter-county players," said Flynn. 

"It goes to the idea of sustainable amateurism, it goes back to the foundation of what we aim to achieve in the GPA, to bring that balance between the players' personal, professional and physical life and I think that (off season) is a core element of it. 

"We'll have to just roll it out and then we'll be able to monitor the usage of it."

All three motions presented to GPA members were passed with motion 1 relating to the lobbying of the GAA and Sport Ireland to review its anti-doping education process with a view to ensuring its completion before January 31.

The other motion proposed the creation of a work group to determine the 'optimal physical player contact time' for inter-county players.

According to the proposal, which received 100% support, 'the GPA will establish a workgroup to develop the optimal time for inter-county player contact time to help more robust policy and controls to improve the inter-county playing environment. Very importantly, this will be a science-led approach'.

Ex-Dublin star Flynn explained that when he played for the all conquering Blues, they had a less is more approach to training.

"I often give an example that in all my years playing under Jim Gavin, I believe we trained less than every other county in the country," said Flynn. 

"That was always my belief when I spoke to other players, when I learned about what they were doing. I always felt that we were doing less and it was because we were playing it smart."

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