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 Midleton's Aaron Mulcahy gets away from Ballincollig's Sean O'Donoghue, during the 2019 Rebel Óg Premier 1 MHC semi-final at the Mardyke. Picture: David Keane.
Midleton's Aaron Mulcahy gets away from Ballincollig's Sean O'Donoghue, during the 2019 Rebel Óg Premier 1 MHC semi-final at the Mardyke. Picture: David Keane.

Cork GAA: Pressure from clubs see Rebel Óg row back on C3 team decision 

CLUBS in Cork have until Wednesday to enter second teams at U16 and minor level this summer.

Rebel Óg have listened to feedback in recent weeks and this is the second time they altered their plans for underage GAA in the coming months.

The C3 grade is specifically designed to cater to clubs with large numbers and is crucial to retaining players through their teens by giving everyone games on their age. 

For some reason, Rebel Óg opted to get rid of that C3 tier in their post-Covid plan. This came in tandem with the move to scrap U13 and U15 altogether and only run competitions at U12, U14, U16 and minor.

All of these decisions were at odds with the GAA ethos of providing underage games instead of a constant flow of training for players. Referees and pitch availability are obvious issues now Gaelic games across the board are returning but that excuse simply didn't cut it for the majority of mentors and parents.

The C3 reversal comes in the wake of the move to allow to enter second teams at U14 and U16 for clubs with the demand. There is also a facility for a third team competition. 

For U13 and U15 teams challenge matches are the order of the day from here until the winter, though that puts the pressure on the coaches to come up with referees.

The club minor championship is a round-robin and will be completed before October when the Cork minor hurling and football sides enter the Munster arena. 

Teams will play midweek on a home and away basis, with some lucky enough to have two matches on their own turf in the group, starting with hurling on July 22.

The Cork minor management teams, headed up by Donal Óg Cusack and Bobbie O'Dwyer, will be able to access form before trimming the extended panels that were in place back in March.

U12 this season will be completed on a regional basis, while there are three hurling and three football games for each club at U14 and U16 in groups of four, with semi-finals after. 

For players from U8 to U11, there will be a sequence of three hurling and three football blitzes against clubs with similar numbers and from nearby areas from late August. They may still add in more activity in October depending on circumstances.

Among the rules at U14 and U16 are that Clubs entering extra competitions must submit a list of a minimum of 20 players for their first team. Those players aren't eligible to play on second or third teams.

They will be required to submit lists of 20 players, including the year of birth, to play on any second and third teams. No one can play in multiple teams in their age category.