Donegal official fears fixtures crisis for clubs

The secretary of the Donegal Competition Controls’ Committee has warned of “a potential crisis” in 2014 with the postponement of the SFC and IFC until after the county team conclude their All-Ireland campaign.

Sean McGinley, in his report for annual convention that will take place in Letterkenny on Sunday, December 15, referenced next year’s International Rules Series, which is due to take place in Australia.

Michael Murphy captained Ireland in the First Test win over the Australians in Cavan last October less than 24 hours after leading his club Glenswilly to a second Donegal SFC title win against Killybegs.

“If we put off our championships each year until the county team is out of the All-Ireland series, is that not saying that club football is not important and county football is more important?” McGinley said.

“Remember that 98% of our players play club football/hurling only. Given the Test Series in Australia in 2014 we may face a potential crisis in completing our county finals in October. With the advent of the back door for county teams, club activity is forced to the periphery of our calendar.

“It’s time we brought serious change to our inter-county model and free up time for 98% of our players. The continued suffocation of club standards will eventually reflect on our county standards.”

In September, the clubs of Donegal voted to shelve the SFC and IFC until after Jim McGuinness’s team concluded their participation in the All-Ireland championships, 20 votes to six.

The Donegal manager had initially requested a round or two of the club championships be completed before his side undertake their Ulster championship opener — away to Derry on Sunday, May 25 — but the clubs preferred to contest the championship after Donegal’s completion.


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