Larry Tompkins: Club-first template the future for GAA

The Cork legend was speaking at the launch of his autobiography, Believe, at Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Larry Tompkins: Club-first template the future for GAA

Cork GAA legend Larry Tompkins at the launch of his autobiography, Believe, at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Dan Linehan

Cork legend Larry Tompkins believes the enforced scheduling changes to the GAA season for 2020 can provide a template to work from in the future, with the club season played off before the inter-county campaign starts.

Speaking at the launch of his autobiography, Believe, at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Tompkins outlined how he felt the current season has worked well and a similar system can be used even after the return to normality.

“I just think it's great that the club scene can be packaged into a certain few months,” he said.

“I think for the club players and for the inter-county player that is playing for that club, it would showcase the club scene even more and give the inter-county players an opportunity with their club all the time.

“I'd go with club first because it would give the opportunity to the people to see guys playing and also a massive opportunity to county managers and selectors to be able to see players playing. I think the way they have it packaged now in Cork, every game you should be going out at club level, if it's formulated right, should be fairly competitive.

“So, you're seeing guys playing each week, playing at a competitive level. Of course, that has to be a good sign to be able to look at players for inter-county scene to maybe bring them into a panel or not, rather than exhausting them coming in four or five nights training.

“You don't always see everything at training sessions. I think when you're playing competitively, it's a better way to look at players.”

Larry Tompkins was joined by Tracey Kennedy, chairperson of the Cork County Board, at the launch of his autobiography, Believe, at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday. Picture: Dan Linehan
Larry Tompkins was joined by Tracey Kennedy, chairperson of the Cork County Board, at the launch of his autobiography, Believe, at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday. Picture: Dan Linehan

Related to such a change in the timetable is the need for the GAA to examine the viability of current costs associated with running inter-county teams.

“Sure, look, I'm in business myself and we're all reassessing,” said Tompkins.

“I do think that county boards will look at the whole concept of training a team. The expense is huge nowadays. I do think it's an important factor, these guys are only amateur and people tend to forget that.

“They've to go out in the mornings to go to work. They finish work and then they're driving to training. I do think that can be exhausting. Overall, I think that it will be a benefit to counties, I do.”

  • Believe: The Larry Tompkins Autobiography is published by Hero Books (priced €20.00) and is available in all good local book shops and online (print and ebook) on Amazon, Apple, and all good online stores

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