GPA oppose motion to prevent joint captains receiving trophies together 

The Central Council-endorsed motion at Saturday’s virtual Annual Congress recommends just one winning captain accept silverware
GPA oppose motion to prevent joint captains receiving trophies together 

Kerry joint captains Fionn Fitzgerald and Kieran O'Leary lift the Sam Maguire Cup after the 2014 All-Ireland final. Picture: Stephen McCarthy

The GAA’s plans to end the practice of two captains receiving a cup will be opposed by the Gaelic Players Association (GPA).

The Central Council-endorsed motion at Saturday’s virtual Annual Congress recommends just one winning captain accept silverware.

The reasoning behind the proposal is uncertain although joint captains have been a more common occurrence in recent times such as Wexford, who are also voting against the motion, and a number of 2020 county champions like Ballygunner, Crosserlough and Sixmilebridge.

GPA player representation manager Eamonn Murphy said: “There is a view of surprise expressed by players that this particular motion has been tabled. It’s difficult to see what the rationale is behind proposing a motion like this.

“I think if individual players received that recognition of being nominated as the co-captain of their team, they should also be afforded the opportunity to lift the cup and all the other acknowledgements that go with that. It’s not something we will be supporting.” Murphy added the GPA have been given no explanation for the motion being put on the Clár. “We’re looking forward to hearing what the rationale is on Saturday.”

UCC’s joint captains Paddy O'Loughlin and Eoghan Murphy lift the Fitzgibbon Cup trophy last year. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

UCC’s joint captains Paddy O'Loughlin and Eoghan Murphy lift the Fitzgibbon Cup trophy last year. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

The GPA will be voting against the motion to ban anyone coming onto the field of play except a medic summoned by a referee. A proposal chiefly aimed at doing away with the maor foirne role.

Murphy remarked: “While everyone understands the spirit of the motion and there have been some examples of backroom team members coming on and interfering with the play and it is important to mitigate against that, there can be some unintended consequences.

“In cases where players may go down with injury, they may require immediate treatment and it’s important in such scenarios that there is that availability of medical treatment.” The GPA will be backing the introduction of the concussion substitute, Murphy confirmed, after they themselves previously recommended a temporary replacement to the GAA’s medical, scientific and welfare committee.

“The aim of it is to ensure there is sufficient time for the player to receive an assessment off the field of play and in the heat of battle assessment on the field bring their own challenges.”

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