Unfinished season disrespects club camogie, says top coach Andy Moloney

Gailltír camogie trainer Andy Moloney has called for common sense to prevail
Unfinished season disrespects club camogie, says top coach Andy Moloney

Gailltír camogie trainer Andy Moloney, pictured when manager of Ballyhale Shamrocks during the 2015 All-Ireland Senior Club Championship final. Picture: Ramsey Cardy

Gailltír camogie trainer Andy Moloney has called for common sense to prevail and for the Camogie Association to complete the 2020 provincial and All-Ireland club series.

The Waterford club is one of 35 clubs from across the four provinces who have joined forces in lobbying the Camogie Association to reverse the recent decision to abandon the 2020 club series. With Camogie’s Central Council due to have met yesterday evening, it is understood that ahead of this meeting the 35 affected clubs again urged top-brass to revisit the scrapped 2020 club series.

The Gailltír team, trained by former Tipperary and Waterford hurler Moloney, stands one hour from a third consecutive Munster intermediate club title and two games from a third consecutive All-Ireland intermediate club final appearance. Their provincial decider against Thurles Sarsfields was initially scheduled for last October, but the decision of the three Gaelic games organisations on October 5 to suspend club activity with immediate effect means the fixture is still outstanding.

Similarly affected camogie teams at senior, intermediate, and junior level were informed by the Camogie Association as recently as May 1 that those outstanding games would be played across the final weekend of June and the first half of July.

But when the game’s governing body committed 24 hours later to a consultation process on the layout of the 2021 season, in the face of strong criticism from the inter-county playing body, one of the options sent out to clubs for consideration did not include completion of the 2020 club series.

This option — the split season — won favour from a narrow majority of clubs over the alternative National League-club championship-inter-county championship schedule, meaning the outstanding club fixtures from 2020 would not now be played.

The 35 clubs have drawn up a proposed calendar that would see all outstanding provincial and All-Ireland club fixtures played between Monday, June 7 and Sunday, June 27, a three-week window of activity that would not impact on the inter-county All-Ireland championships which throw-in at the beginning of July.

Thus far, there has been no U-turn from the Camogie Association.

Moloney, who was joint-manager when Ballyhale Shamrocks won the All-Ireland club hurling title in 2015, cannot understand why the 2020 club series was not built into the split season option sent out to clubs at the beginning of May. He said club players have been disrespected by the association and called on those at the top to row back on the unnecessary abandonment of the 2020 club series.

'Disrespectful'

“What type of message is this sending out to club players, to grassroots,” Moloney remarked.

“It is very disrespectful to the players, especially the girls who don’t play inter-county. This is their be-all and end-all. You’d feel aggrieved that these players are not getting the opportunity to represent their club and county in a Munster final. It is hard to fathom.”

Moloney added: “I don’t know what happened at Ard Chomhairle level that they made provision for the 2020 club series in option one of their consultation document, but never put it into option two. And the subsequent vote wasn’t about the 2020 club series, it was about the overall structure and shape of the 2021 season.

“Clubs shouldn’t have been forgotten about when a second option was being drawn up in response to inter-county criticism. Common sense would say, ‘yes, we’ll get this 2020 championship played and finished’.

“The likes of Mark Dunne (St Rynagh’s), Colin Sunderland (Oulart-the-Ballagh), and Michael ‘Hopper’ McGrath (Sarsfields) put a lot of work into the proposed dates and coming up with a solution rather than going to Ard Chomhairle with their hands hanging. They have got a very poor response.

We don’t seem to be getting much of a hearing. It is a bit insulting.

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