THE City Division GAA Board will re-draw their championship fixtures at their Ballinlough headquarters tonight and a number of clubs in the division are not happy about it.
The draws for the various competitions under the auspices of the Seandún Board were originally made back in the month of February and featured a second chance for all first round losers.
However, the new draw format tonight will have no back door and the beaten team in the opening round will have their season terminated after just one game.
The City Division said they have been forced into doing this because of time constraints but the clubs don’t accept that at all.
Brian Dillon’s official, Donie Lyons outlined to the Echo why he believes that this is not giving the clubs a fair crack of the whip.
Dillon’s were pencilled in to play Blackrock in the opening round of the JAHC and Passage in the JAFC but that won’t be happening now and defeat in either game would not have eliminated them from the competition.
“The draws were made back in February but the City Division have now decreed that because of the health crisis they cannot go ahead with that format.
“Now you have only the one chance, lose and you are gone in one hour. We didn’t get to play any league games before the health crisis started up so if we lose the first round now players will have played just one game in the entire year.
“That can’t be right, players have paid their membership, clubs have paid their insurance premiums etc but this is what we get.
“We’d go along with the one game only format if it was a decree from the County Board but that’s not the case.
“In the other divisions they have a back door, in East Cork they have a round-robin format and a club is guaranteed two games in that at least.
“We have sought a consultation meeting over this but it’s not being given, it’s just not fair game, we believe.
“Other divisions have the same amount of participants in their competitions as we have and if they can do it why can’t we."
Passage GAA club chairman Pearse McLellan was in full agreement with Lyons' viewpoint.
“Absolutely, there should be a back door as there will be in the other divisions. I am aware of the situation in East Cork.
“This is very unfair on players, players who have been active in their communities during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Now if they lose the first round they are finished for the year.
“This year is different too where timing is concerned, there’s no provincial championship so what’s the rush.
“There are no Cork players involved, as far as I know the only Cork player playing with a junior club is Seamie Harnedy.
“It’s really disappointing, players have paid up for their membership, we have paid insurance.
“The re-draw will be made tonight and the delegate meeting that we sought was not allowed to happen."
It is believed that apart from Dillon’s and Passage, the latter coached by Teddy McCarthy, a number of other junior clubs are unhappy with the situation as well.
In response to the unhappiness of the clubs, Seandún secretary Mick Buckley said that they were not in a position to hold a delegate meeting before the draw tonight.
“I am aware that some clubs are unhappy but because of the situation this year that’s the decision we have taken.
“All divisions are different, we have a lot of senior clubs and we cannot play the championship until their senior and intermediate teams have played their first round.
“We as a division will lose out too financially with less games," he told the Echo.
The Seandún division outlined some strict measures that must be adhered to during the course of their championships.
They include no dressing rooms being made available to any club due to social distancing.
Players are advised to come togged out to the venue and whilst toiled faciities will be available no showers will be.
First aid rooms will not be available under any circumstances to players for a rub down before the start of a game.
Each club will have to bring their own water, there will be no water facilities in Ballinlough.
Twenty two players only will be permitted on to the pitch plus three mentors, one water carrier, one equipment carrier, one medical officer and the chairperson and secretary of the clubs involved.
Games must finish on the day and extra-time will be played in the event of a draw.,