Munster Council's Simon Moroney says counties must alter own games for calendar season to work

MAOR UISCE: Sixmilebridge clubman Declan Murphy spikes a goalmouth at O'Garney Park, Sixmilebridge. Pic: Ray McManus

Munster Council secretary Simon Moroney says a calendar GAA season would be more feasible if club championships were formatted in a similar way.

 

Like all six of the province’s counties, Moroney has some reservations about the practicality of incorporating all GAA fixtures into the same 12-month period and bringing forward the All- Ireland senior club finals from St Patrick’s Day to the previous December.

GAA director general Páraic Duffy and president Aogán Ó Fearghail have recently travelled the country in an attempt to garner support for the calendar season before it is voted on by Central Council.

Moroney has recently seen counties such as Clare, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford struggle and in Kerry and Tipperary’s situations fail to finish their club championships in time for winners to take their place in the provincial competitions. Putting further time constraints on them, he stresses, won’t work until their own championships are altered.

“Unless we get the foundations right, that is the club championships for the two codes and how they are structured and scheduled, it’s going to very challenging to put in a deadline. 

“In a theoretical sense, it’s a very good idea to have that (the calendar season) done but we need to do certain things that achieve the outcome we want. 

“I would have some concerns about the All- Ireland club championships finishing in December.

“I know we won’t always have bad weather as we have had but it is in the nature of our climate.

“It’s not insurmountable because less games have to be played the more the competitions go on.”

Moroney has yet to see any document recommending the tackling of how one county’s club championship differs largely from another.

“We don’t have consistency in the types of club championships around the country. Some of them are on a league basis or part-league basis. 

More of them are knock-out with some having a losers group providing a second or third chance.

“Committees like the Football Review Committee and Hurling 2020, many of them went into the fixtures planning area but with a particular perspective whether it was the improvement of football or the expansion of hurling.

“To me, you have to look at the totality of the problem and come up with medium and long term strategies.

“The size and make-up of club championships and the duration it’s taking, I’m increasingly coming to the view you need to address them.

“The proposals put forward by the Ard Stúirthóir and Uachtarán are well thought-out and done by experienced people but there is another dimension in terms of our club championships and how varied they can be from county to county.”

Moroney was opposed to several of the All-Ireland senior football championship recommendations because they failed to accommodate the space required by counties for hurling fixtures. 

“My underlying sense is you have to have integrated proposals for both the hurling and football championships.

“That challenge is more acute in Munster because you have more dual club players and more of an impact between county and club competitions.

“Whatever proposals come up, they have to be integrated so that you have a common fixtures programme.

“Many of the football championship proposals took no account of having to run club and county championships in hurling.

“If you look at my own county Clare or Tipperary, Waterford and Cork, there is a preponderance of dual players.

“The dual clubs did very well in Waterford this year but that creates fixture problems. The challenge of putting together each code’s fixtures has to be done simultaneously.”

The Central Competitions Control Committee, of which Moroney is a member, will meet next Tuesday to discuss whether it will be possible to reschedule the interprovincial competitions, which were postponed last month due to bad weather.

Venues and times should also be confirmed for the All- Ireland senior club football and hurling semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Kerry will field an entirely second string team in Sunday’s McGrath Cup football opener with Clare. 

The Kingdom host Clare in Killarney but manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice will be the only familiar sight for the pre-season tie.

Members of the 2015 panel are in the USA and won’t return from Florida until Saturday.


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