Turlough O'Brien: CPA 'missed a trick' in the name they chose

The man who inspired the Carlow Rising era reckons the CPA is definitely required but believes their name has contributed to some 'distrust'.
Turlough O'Brien: CPA 'missed a trick' in the name they chose
Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Former Carlow boss Turlough O'Brien has claimed that the Club Players Association 'missed a trick' by choosing the name they did.

The man who inspired the Carlow Rising era reckons the CPA is definitely required but believes their name has contributed to some 'distrust'.

O'Brien believes that by calling themselves the Gaelic Clubs Association they would have clearly set themselves up as a clubs representative body, not just a players body.

The recently retired Carlow chief also says it's 'an indictment' on the GAA as a whole that the Gaelic Players Association and CPA are required.

Speaking on The Locker Room podcast, which is run by Deely Sport Science, O'Brien had a novel take on the CPA.

"With the CPA, I think they missed the emphasis, I think they shouldn't have gone for the 'Club Players Association'," said O'Brien. "I think they should have it as the Gaelic Clubs Association because I feel that while 'Club Players' might be supporting what they do, there would be maybe a lot of distrust among club officials and they kind of feel left out of this.

"I don't think clubs have really got a voice at the top. I don't think Congress really fulfils that role for them. I think they missed a trick by doing that, I think they should have evolved into the Gaelic Clubs Association.

"But they're needed at the moment because someone has got to speak in relation to the fixtures programme and what's happening for club players. We all know it's a joke.

"Players are training from maybe February or even January in some cases and not playing championship football until, in some counties, when the county team has gone out of the Championship. That is not right. That's not healthy, it's not good for the GAA."

In conversation with former London boss Ciaran Deely and Joe Coulter, O'Brien also discussed his high profile 20-week suspension in 2019.

O'Brien, who led Carlow from Division 4 in 2018 and also presided over a Championship win over Kildare that summer, said his treatment was 'absolutely disgraceful'.

Coach Steven Poacher and star midfielder Brendan Murphy also received bans following incidents at the end of their NFL tie against Down.

"I don't know of any other team that got suspensions like that and I saw a lot worse happening," he said. "With televised games, we've heard the microphones picking up the audio in games and because of the teams that were involved, nothing much seemed to happen. It does seem to be that the lower-ranked teams are made an example of basically."

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