Cork clubs to consider revamp of junior championships

Cork clubs to consider revamp of junior championships

UCC manager and Cork football legend Billy Morgan, alongside Jim Cremin, UCC, at yesterday’s Sigerson Cup match. Picture: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

CORK clubs will be given a chance to properly examine proposals to revamp the county junior A hurling, junior A football and U21 football championships following last night’s county board meeting at Nemo Rangers.

Proposals to allow both teams in a divisional final to progress to the county championship had been due to be voted on after a meeting between the board’s Competitions Control Committee and the divisions before Christmas, but many clubs requested a deferral.

Freemount delegate John O’Flynn asked that a decision be delayed so that the proposal could be allowed a proper airing as many clubs hadn’t been properly informed. He also questioned the CCC’s authority to propose changes to the championship.

Chairman Ger Lane refuted this, saying that the such an authority was set out in rule and that the amendments were not a huge change, as it happens at a number of levels. “Surely it’s not irresponsible of us to ask two teams to come forward from each division, giving more teams and players games?

“It’s irresponsible to say nobody was aware of this, my info is that clubs are happy with the proposed new format.” Muskerry chairman Pat Malone said that not all divisional officers had gone home happy from the meeting where divisions were informed of the new format, while Denis Gayer (Castlemagner) called it an “attack on the divisions”.

Donal Lyons of Brian Dillons said that there were some good points but, as the city clubs hadn’t discussed it, the decision should be deferred. Donal McSweeney (Ballinora) said to “reject the changes for any technical reason would be totally wrong, the back door has been around for 20 years”.

Board coaching officer Kevin O’Donovan spoke against the fact that the county board will choose two ‘wild card’ clubs to be added to the 14 clubs who qualify after reaching the divisional finals.

“I’m not on the CCC so not speaking out of turn,” he said, “I’m not speaking as the Kilmeen/Kilbree delegate but I am a player so I have some interest.

“I’m against the proposals for two reasons – it downgrades the divisional championships and the idea of including two wildcards, chosen by the CCC, is unprecedented. I don’t want to come across as anti-board, but these are two big concerns.” In other business, Munster Council delegate Marc Sheehan reported that Cork’s request to host both of this year’s Munster senior finals in the newly redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh was broadly supported. However, depending on the identity of the finalists in the two codes, existing home-and-away arrangements may dictate otherwise.

Former Cork hurler Cian McCarthy was included on the list of proposed transfers, seeking a move from Sarsfields to Douglas in hurling. McCarthy’s father, dual All-Ireland winner Teddy, stood down as Sars manager recently. That transfer, and the others sought, are to be dealt with by the CCC.

Pat Horgan (Midleton), Eamonn Landy (Mayfield), Dick Fitzgerald (Russell Rovers) and John Crean (Aghabullogue) were elected as club representatives to the board’s executive.

See P51-53 for more GAA.

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