Kerry GAA secretary Peter Twiss has called for a county board draw to help meet the running costs of the new centre of excellence.
The €8m facility at Currans will be the new home of Kerry GAA from next May and Twiss, in his report to tonight’s convention, warned of the “extra financial load” in maintaining this facility – the site includes six sand-based pitches, 10 dressing rooms, a players lounge and gym.
Cork GAA run a county board draw on an annual basis, with a €241,982 surplus recorded from this year’s draw.
Kerry must now explore this option, insists the county board secretary.
“With Currans up and running by next summer, an added challenge will be the maintenance and upkeep of this facility,” Twiss writes.
“In this context, I believe it is now time for a county board draw to be established with the sole purpose of raising the required monies to ensure Currans is maintained to a high standard. While the capital investment has been well supported, the running costs of such a large facility have to be met at local level. Ensuring this extra financial load can be carried over the next few years will be a challenge for all involved.
“I ask all Kerry supporters to row in behind what will be a fantastic facility.”
Addressing the treatment of club players, Twiss believes more weekends can be freed up for club action through a shortening of the inter-county calendar and playing more hurling and football games on the same weekend. “The three basic issues that affect club fixtures are inter-county activity, replays and postponements to accommodate players involved with different teams in different competitions. With replays, the choice is simple; decide between a result on the day or be willing to accept disruption to fixtures caused by a draw.
“How the association deal with the above issues will, to a large extent, determine if any major progress can be made in this area. Trying to be all things to all people will certainly not make for any progress, of that you can be sure.”
Twiss concluded: “The suggestion that the current quarter-final stage of the All-Ireland SFC be replaced by a group stage, organised on a league basis, is attractive.
“The idea to play one game at home, one away and one in Croke Park is a good one.”
Meanwhile, former Kerry trainer Pat Flanagan has succeeded Stephen Stack as manager of Austin Stacks, Tralee. He was part of the club’s backroom team in 2016 and previous to that he had served with Brian Cuthbert as part of the Cork senior management team.
Flanagan is one of the most respected strength and conditioning operators in his field, having helped Jack O’Connor’s Kerry to three All-Ireland titles, three NFL titles and four Munster senior crowns.
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