Cork camogie: Withdrawal of key players wasn't fair on Seandún management

Cork camogie: Withdrawal of key players wasn't fair on Seandún management
Seandún's Susan Kate Brosnan strikes the ball against Glen Rovers' Nicole Crean in the SE Systems Senior Camogie Championship at Castle Road. Picture: Gavin Browne

WE are at the quarter-final stage of the SE Systems Senior Camogie Championship and if last weekend’s games are an indicator of what’s to come between the eight still standing, then we’re in for a treat.

Two games went to extra-time — Douglas and Sarsfields and Glen Rovers and Seandún.

Douglas and Sars served up 4-31 between them with just eight points coming from placed balls.

Glen and Seandún hit 5-31 with 5-24 coming from play. Now that’s what we want to see.

Katrina Mackey is okay after being carried off at half-time of extra-time so that’s good news for Douglas and Cork, who begin their campaign away to Offaly on October 17/18.

We had the issue again of dual fixture clashes with Sars and Glanmire ladies footballers both scheduled for last Saturday and on Sunday Courcey Rovers had to withdraw from a junior B football championship game as it clashed with their camogie championship game with Newcestown.

I fully appreciate the fixture schedule that both boards have.

There is a club deadline before inter-county starts again and the pressure is on to get each championship completed.

In fairness to the camogie board I know they always, where possible, agree to a re-schedule. I’m sure the football board do likewise.

The problem is that when fixtures are set, if there is a clash it’s left up to all clubs to agree to a change and if they don’t there’s very little the board can do.

It’s made all the more difficult when you have girls playing camogie with one club and that panel play with a number of different football clubs.

How do you manage that?

I’d imagine that all Sars' dual players play with Glanmire so that should be easier to manage. Likewise, with Courceys, both codes under the one club.

We need to do something. If we keep a dedicated club and inter-county season like we have this year, that’s a big problem solved.

A suggestion may be that we rotate camogie and ladies football on a bi-weekly basis.

During the two-week period that camogie (or football) is played you play your underage games during the week and senior at the weekend.

You have a crossover of players between minor and senior so you play minor on Wednesday nights at a home and away venue.

We can have a crossover with U16-U18 and senior players and that will prove a bit of managing, but the schedule won’t be any more hectic for those players than it is today.

The only difference is that they can concentrate on one sport for that two-week period. Our championship window may have to extend, but if the inter-county season is pulled in or pushed out, we may have that available to us.

It’s food for thought as no one wants this situation, neither the players, managements, county or national boards.

Glen Rovers and Seandún served up a thriller.

Seandún lost their opportunity in normal time. The Glen fully deserved to win in extra-time.

Seandún were served a late curveball when the St Vincent’s players, except Lauren Homan, withdrew from the panel ahead of junior A championship against Tracton.

This was wrong. At the start of a season a potential divisional management team seek out players to determine their interest in representing their division at senior level.

They do this to give those players an opportunity to play senior camogie and they are to be admired for giving of their time to do that.

If players or players’ clubs at the outset decide they don’t want to play, that their focus for the year is club only, that’s totally fine. I’ve no issue with that.

But if you make yourself available as a player and your club doesn’t have that discussion with you, then you both commit.

Based on the interest that’s there in January a divisional side is either formed or not. In this case Seandún had strong interest.

They had an opening round victory over Imokilly, they looked a promising side. I’ve no doubt that the late withdrawal last week had an effect on Seandún’s first-half display.

How must the other girls have felt?

The withdrawal gave the vibe to their team-mates that Seandún’s involvement in the senior championship is only a token gesture, a take it or leave it ‘friendly’ game you might play after work on a Friday evening.

What if every club did this? Where would that leave all divisional sides?

Pulling out of championships that’s where, getting fined and leaving the championship fixtures in disarray.

I’m also against this culture we have in recent years of giving players ultimatums. I find that you don’t win in those scenarios.

As a manager you might win one day but you’ll lose out the next. It’s ultimately the player that loses out, she has the headache and the worry when all she wants to do is play.

It was St Vincent’s last weekend, but on another day it could be any other club and it needs to stop. I admire Lauren Homan for playing.

She may suffer the consequences this weekend, but so will St Vincent’s if they lose narrowly to Tracton and she’s sitting on the bench.

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