County boards winning fixture-scheduling battle, says survey

Most county boards believe they are winning the battle with inter-county fixtures impinging on the club game.

n the first part of an Irish Examiner investigation into issues within the GAA, which starts in tomorrow’s paper, less than 15% of the 33 county boards polled accepted there was a major problem.

Most county boards felt that proper planning in the early stages of the year ensured club players were largely unaffected by a lack of games while the county team were still involved in the league and championship.

“They have impinged on the regularity of games at times, however thanks to advance planning and the great cooperation between the clubs, county team managers and the county board, it has seen the provision of a complete fixtures list for the season that is adhered to,” said Kilkenny secretary Jimmy Walsh.

Limerick secretary Mike O’Riordan said: “The structure of the club championships is defined by the master fixtures at the start of the season. We leave a window open for qualifiers and other inter-county games and if they don’t happen we try to play league games rather than championship ones and commence the club championship in August.”

However Westmeath secretary James Savage accepted there was a problem.

“They do impinge on club fixtures,” he said.

“I was involved in fixtures myself and the same problem will be there in 40 years’ time. There’s simply not enough time in the year and something always suffers. During the leagues here the clubs play without the county players. Thankfully the clubs in Westmeath are understanding.”

Cavan chairman Tom Reilly said: “The qualifiers cause major problems. We drafted our leagues to play two or three games a month with no county players for teams.”

See what your county said in tomorrow’s paper.


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