Cork top brass in fixtures firing line

Criticism of the way the Cork county championships are being run continues to grow.

For the second time in a week, two more hurling clubs’ spokesmen have come out strongly against the way the county board is running the senior hurling championship in particular.

Newtownshandrum manager Bernie O’Connor said the county board must address hurling fixtures immediately.

“They are destroying Cork club hurling. We have been waiting 14 weeks to play our second game in the championship. That is utterly ridiculous and until that is changed there is no hope for us,” he said.

“I can see a situation whereby players will retire from the game long before they should. They won’t suffer another summer of what has gone on. There is no future for them in playing club hurling.

“I would be in favour of the club making a stand against what has gone on. The county players went on strike a couple of years ago and achieved their objectives. Maybe the clubs should band together and opt out of the championships in protest at the way they are being run. It may bring the powers to be to their senses before it’s too late.”

Asked how he would rectify the situation, O’Connor said games should not be put off for inter-county activity.

“If Cork go to the same stages of the senior championship again next year are the clubs going to have to wait another 14 weeks to play the local championship?

“I would propose that the inter-county and county championships be played every second fortnight. You cannot be putting club games off because of one or two players.

“We have had games postponed because of two players who weren’t even sure of their place on the county team. Two weeks between games should be sufficient. If it’s good enough for the club it should be good enough for the county.”

Na Piarsaigh mentor Bill Kelleher said he has been speaking about the SHC now during the tenure of four chairmen of the county board, all to no avail.

“I cannot understand why the county board cannot play one or two rounds of the championship and then shut it down until the inter-county team is finished,” he said.

“We have club players out there tonight who have had no summer holidays. Because of their commitment to the club they could not make any plans, but how long more is that commitment going to last?

“After the inter-county season is over, the county board should call the clubs together, give them two weeks to prepare and then run the championship off week after week, injury or no injury. At least the club player will then have some idea where he is going.

“What is becoming very hard for clubs right now, and it’s going to get harder, is getting mentors to run teams. Who wants to be involved under the present system.”


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