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Adam Moynihan: Another year, another messy GAA calendar

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Despite all the talk of change, 2020 looks set to be as congested as ever for our club and county footballers. Adam Moynihan examines this year’s schedule and asks if the GAA are any closer to solving the fixtures crisis.

 

It didn’t take long for the first fixtures fiasco of 2020 to rear its ugly head. On Thursday last, just nine days into the New Year, Donegal manager Declan Bonner confirmed that his team would not be fulfilling their McKenna Cup semi-final against Monaghan due to a clash with the opening round of the Sigerson Cup.

Donegal had 13 players in college action on Sunday – the same day the Monaghan match was due to be played – with Letterkenny IT manager Michael Murphy also tied up, so Bonner and the county board were forced to withdraw from Ulster’s pre-season tournament due to a lack of numbers.

“It's crazy, absolutely crazy,” Bonner said. “Whoever fixed the Sigerson in the middle of this, it is absolutely ridiculous. We have to manage that and be careful of player welfare and we just won't have the numbers to field. We always treat the McKenna Cup with respect, but if you can't put out a team, you can't put out a team.”

It appears as though the colleges aren’t best pleased with this year’s schedule either.

“They start this competition and we’re not open until next week,” UCC manager Billy Morgan said. “We had no preparation whatsoever over Christmas. [The GAA] is becoming an elite association and they are just catering for intercounty, while clubs, third-level, and second-level are all suffering.”

So that’s county and third level ticked off already. What about club? Well, bringing the 2019/20 All-Ireland Club finals forward to January from March has shortened the season but it has done nothing to alleviate the pressure on the teams and players involved over the Christmas period. A 13-month season isn’t much different to a 15-month season when you think about it; if the seasons are overlapping at all then players aren’t getting a break.

The guys involved in the latter stages of these competitions will naturally tell you that they’re delighted to be there, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right.

 

2020

Looking at Kerry GAA’s draft calendar for 2020 (below), the schedule for Kerry’s club players isn’t much different to last year. That isn’t necessarily a problem in and of itself as the situation in this county is fairly positive when it comes to the staging of competitions. Players are largely pleased with how the County League, Club Championship and County Championship are being run off – the issue in many people’s eyes lies with the district championships.

The 2019 East Kerry Championship concluded on December 15, for example, while things were even more drawn out for the footballers of St Mary’s and Dromid Pearses: their South Kerry Championship final replay was eventually played on January 11.

As you can see in the 2020 calendar, the finals of this year’s district championships have been slated for the end of November, but, as always, much will depend on the success of the various divisional and club teams in the County Championship.

If East Kerry, for instance, have another strong year and advance to the latter stages of the competition, it’s unlikely that any of the teams supplying players to the reigning champions will play O’Donoghue Cup games in October, as is suggested in the calendar.

Similarly, if any of the district’s senior clubs advance to Munster, it will more than likely push the final of the East Kerry Championship back out to December yet again.

If one of the GAA’s new proposals for the intercounty scene gets the green light for 2021, it will supposedly free up a few extra weekends for clubs. Maybe then the district boards will have more wiggle room to get things done in a more timely fashion.

For now, unless genuine commitments are made to play earlier rounds at an earlier stage of the season (similar commitments were made this time last year but we had December football anyway) it appears as though we could be set for another long year of football.

 

Main Photo: The East Kerry Championship semi-final clash between Spa and Dr Crokes took place on December 1. Pic: Séamus Healy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Man released without charge in murder case

The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge […]

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The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge in relation to this matter.

Miriam Burns was found in her home on Monday afternoon after family and neighbours became concerned about her welfare.

A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and investigations are ongoing under the direction of a Senior Investigating Officer.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to any persons who were in the Ardshanavooley area between 5pm on Friday and 1pm on Monday and observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.

Any road users who were travelling in the area at these times who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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Plenty of music and entertainment to celebrate Kilcummin talent

The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night. The talent within […]

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The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night.

The talent within the branch was clearly evident with a packed trophies table. Indeed some of the successes over the last number of months were replayed in a relaxed, jovial atmosphere that meant that all attending had a great night’s entertainment.

“We had demonstrations of winning sets across all age groups and then we moved onto the musicians who pulled out all the stops to entertain the large crowd, packed into the clubhouse,” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCÉ PRO, told the Killarney Advertiser.

John Moriarty, who has recently retired from his role of Supervisor with Kilcummin Rural Development was acknowledged with a presentation to reflect the outstanding work that he has done to enhance and grow Kilcummin Comhaltas over his 25 years in his role, he added.

“Much thanks and praise was also offered to Mary, Adrian and Conor Moriarty, all involved in the progression of dancing and music within the Kilcummin branch. The music and entertainment continued with Helen Kerins and Denis Crowley late into the night. We’re looking forward to next year already!”

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