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Underage participation will suffer if schoolboy soccer moves to the summer

I am writing to you to protest about the FAI’s proposal to switch schoolboy soccer from winter to summer as a result of a number of games being cancelled due to waterlogged pitches.

Since the age of seven, all of my friends and I have played football and hurling with our local club, Gabriel Rangers, and soccer for our local club, Bunratty United.

This has been possible as soccer was in the winter and GAA in the summer. If the FAI’s proposal goes ahead we will have to choose one sport over the other, as training and matches will clash.

This decision would affect both the GAA and soccer clubs.

At present, a lot of rural clubs are struggling with numbers and some clubs have to join together to field teams. This will be made worse if players have to choose between both sports.

Players that play both will end up training most nights of the week and will probably have a match or two at the weekend. This could lead to injury or ‘burnout’ from over- training during the summer months, while a lot will have no training in winter.

I think a better solution would be to end the GAA season mid-September and play more soccer games mid-week from the end of September while the evenings are still long.

Mark Brosnan (14)
South Schull
Co Cork


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