Youth development camps rescheduled as club fixtures take precedence in Cork

Two Cork development camps have been axed over clashes with the club fixtures programme.

Six week-long camps catering for players from U13 to U17 took place from October 2012 to August 2013, but this has been reduced to four for the forthcoming season to ease the congestion of club schedules, it was revealed at last night’s launch of the Rebel Óg master fixtures plan.

The four camps coinciding with the school holidays — Halloween, Christmas, Mid-term and Easter — will go ahead as planned, but the two camps which took place through June and August this summer have been removed from the programme.

“Instead of two camps in July and August, we are going for 10 Sunday evenings during the summer,” explained development squad administrator Kevin O’Donovan.

“The four camps during the school holidays will still take place, but we are dropping the two during the summer as we are clashing with club fixtures. Club games are finished for the week so we will finish our camps on a Sunday evening. All our mentors would love to train the teams more regularly, but they know the club comes first.”

The U13 football and hurling championships have also been axed from the 2014 schedule, though league competitions remain in said age-group and Rebel Óg chairman Marc Sheehan is hopeful the master fixtures plan will once more be adhered to next year.

“I hope we will all work together to fulfil those games at league and championship level,” he said.

“We have obviously allowed for the very important programmes at post-primary level and also the important work at development level, in particular the camps which coincide with school holidays. There is a changed format then from the first of May with regard to the camps. Hopefully that will be successful too.

“The key message of this evening is the centrality of the club. You start and finish your careers playing with your club. The club comes first, and in particular, club activity.”

The vice-chairman of Cork County Board, Ger Lane, praised the Rebel Óg model, but added that problems still remain which must be ironed out.

“Rebel Óg is only in existence a few short years and despite the many teething problems — and there are probably still some — it has been a huge success. So hopefully we will see the benefits of that in the years ahead.

“The fixtures programme was by and large adhered to last year. The detailed plan for 2014 means you can see the path forward for the year, you can see when games are on and where they are on. The dates are laid out before you and with that type of planning surely success will follow.”

Sheehan said the executive committee are in the final stages of finalising the County U14 and U16 management teams for 2014 and hope to make an announcement on the issue next week.


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