Paddy Andrews says everyone is “fed up” with the GAA calendar having reckoned he has only played four or five times for his club this year.
St Brigid’s were knocked out of the Dublin senior football championship last weekend, meaning Andrews’ season is all but finished but he would so much prefer to be playing more games for both county and club.
He is supportive of the GPA’s proposal to restructure the championship as part of an altered season where the provincial championships would be played off earlier in the year and over a more condensed period.
“Well, I think everyone is fed up at this stage,” he says. “Everyone is looking for some sort of change. It’s not that easy to do. The GAA obviously as an organisation is very traditionalist. And that’s a huge part of it. But I think there is overwhelming support from the players for the GPA (proposal), that we do want some sort of change.
“We just want more games, whether that’s with Dublin or the clubs. We enjoy games more than training. I don’t think that’s any secret. It’s about trying to work out a way that best suits that. There is a lot to be said for the tradition of the GAA. That’s why we love it, get involved. So you have to be respectful to that but at the same time move along, be more modern in terms of structure.”
Andrews knows his circumstances are nothing compared to the stark reality faced by club footballers. “I think it’s no secret the club players are frustrated more than anyone. In Dublin, June, July, August, the best months of the year for weather, and there’s no championship games. Guys might only play two or three league matches in the summer and I just don’t think that’s right. It’s obvious that’s not right and now you have probably four matches in the space of five weeks and the championship running off in October, but that’s just the way its panned out for Dublin over the past number of years.”
Andrews yesterday picked up the Opel GAA-GPA footballer of the month award for September following his excellent display in the All-Ireland semi-final replay win over Mayo.
Lucan enjoyed a 0-7 to 0-2 lead after 10 minutes with Kevin O’Reilly, Sean McClelland, Johnny McCaffrey and Eoghan Ó Conghaile all on target.
O’Reilly, who struck 0-15 on the night, was in fine form and looked to have secured a win but a last-gasp penalty from Clare native Niall Arthur rescued a 1-17 to 0-20 draw after the hour.
Three points in extra-time from Ger Arthur looked pivotal for O’Toole’s but O’Reilly had the last word as he converted a 79th minute free to secure a deserved replay for his side.
The second quarter-final was far more straightforward as early goals from David Treacy and Mark Schutte set Cuala on course for a 4-16 to 1-11 success against Craobh Chiaráin. Colm Cronin added goals either side of half-time and with Darragh O’Connell hitting 0-7, the Dalkey team set up a semi-final clash with Ballyboden on Sunday.
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