Club Players Association (CPA) chairman Micheál Briody admits that Friday night club championship fixtures are challenging for some players in rural counties.
With reports of several club players taking time off work so as to line out in Friday night games in recent weeks - Kenmare Shamrocks and Dr Crokes face off in the Kerry Club SFC tonight - Briody accepts there are positives as well as negatives to weekday games.
The second round of the Dublin football championships took place this past Wednesday evening but Briody knows it is far easier for club players in the capital to play on a weekday than in some rural counties.
“In Meath, we would have had many Friday night fixtures and enjoyed them because you would then have the rest of the weekend free. Being close to Dublin, that made it easier. But from talking to boys who are on our executive from Roscommon (secretary Tommy Kenoy and Colm Garvey) if you have a three-hour trek back to play a match you’re talking about taking a half-day from work if the game is fixed on a Friday.
“People are working from home more and more but remote working doesn’t apply to every career like being on a building site. If the employment centres are Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick it mightn’t be so bad but in rural areas particularly in the west they are difficult. It is more a socio-economic thing than the way county boards or players are thinking. Friday games will work in some counties and not in others.”
Friday night games at inter-county level later this year have already been ruled out by GAA director of player, club and games administration Feargal McGill. “For the very simple reason that we remain a volunteer association,” he said. "If you have a game at 8 o'clock on a Friday, you are talking about teams getting together at 1 o'clock in the day. That's a half-day off work for those that have to work.”
Meanwhile, Briody confirmed the CPA have not received contact from the GAA following their statement last Wednesday. In that press release, they called “on the leadership of the Association to give clarity to their members within the next two weeks on how they plan to resolve the crisis we have outlined above and if they are prepared to take on board our suggested solution.”