Small GAA clubs call on big characters to fill key roles in the return to training

Small GAA clubs call on big characters to fill key roles in the return to training
Action from the 2019 West Cork Junior A Footbal final at Timoleague between Ballinascarthy and St James. Picture: Denis Boyle

CARBERY chairman Donal McCarthy and his board colleagues have touched base with all the clubs in their division, looking for feedback about the upcoming, unique season.

GAA pitches reopened for adult members last week with full contact training for all players permitted since Monday.

The Dohenys club man stressed the need for greater communication between all clubs and divisional boards going forward as they strive to ensure a successful return to GAA action.

“There are lots of rules and regulations. It initially seemed that the Covid-19 supervisor would have a huge role, but it seems their responsibilities have been reduced thankfully.

“It would have been very hard to put any individual working in a voluntary capacity under so much pressure. Clubs would have found it tough to fill this role. Clubs want more clarity and information.”

McCarthy sympathises with club players who have opted not to make themselves available for selection for their clubs this year due to ongoing fears with regard to Covid-19.

“Smaller clubs in particular could be more vulnerable. They will suffer if a few of their players declare themselves unavailable,” he said.

“It will be hard for a player who lives with a parent or a sibling who has an underlying health concern to play. Players have family commitments and we must respect that.

“If they choose not to play, that is perfectly acceptable. All this needs to be looked at.

“Hopefully we can get it up and running. It must be under the right circumstances however. Some clubs are also worried that the club championship could be a trial run before the inter-county championship begins.”

Another potential problem that Donal foresees is the lack of referees in both the Carbery division and throughout the county.

With a plethora of adult, underage, and ladies games to be played, Donal is worried the lack of referees will be a big issue.

“We have a limited number of referees in the county. There is a big crossover of referees who operate in both the Carbery and county championship games,” he said.

“If the Carbery championships and county championship games are run off simultaneously, there will be huge pressure on the existing referees.

“When you add to this Rebel Óg, ladies football, and camogie fixtures, I would be concerned where will we get the referees for all these games?”

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