Cork County Board dealing with football training in Youghal; club finals deferred from March

Delayed 2020 games won't be held until at least June
Cork County Board dealing with football training in Youghal; club finals deferred from March

Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy during a league game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last season. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK say they are co-operating with Croke Park’s investigation into the senior footballers’ controversial team-building exercise on the first weekend of the New Year.

Manager Ronan McCarthy’s defence was that no Covid-19 regulations were broken and that everything was held under strict medical supervision.

But, top brass in Dublin are considering whether Cork were in breach of the association’s Covid-19 regulations by holding a collective training session despite them being banned at the time.

“The chairman reiterated the board’s commitment to full compliance with national public health guidance and association guidance as they pertain to all our units and teams.

“The executive committee and senior football team management are presently engaged with Coiste Bainistí CLCG and we await the finalisation of this process,” Cork said in a statement following the first board meeting of 2021 during the week.

It was the first held remotely and the first under the direction of new chairman Marc Sheehan.

Delegates were told the outstanding county finals from last season, four in football and three in hurling, would now be played during the summer instead of March.

Sec/CEO, Kevin O’Donovan, explained that a dedicated 12-week season for clubs would be very tight for Cork, especially for dual clubs.

He said they were looking at provisionally starting championships two weeks early, on the weekends of the All-Ireland senior finals, depending on Cork’s progress.

“It looks very unrealistic the outstanding finals from 2020 will happen in March.

“It is hoped these games will take place in a late-June, early-July window, before 2021 competitions commence, but a bigger window is needed to complete the junior competitions,” he said.

Michael Hurley, Castlehaven, bears down on goal against Nemo. Picture: Larry Cummins
Michael Hurley, Castlehaven, bears down on goal against Nemo. Picture: Larry Cummins

The number of senior and intermediate league games is set to be reduced by half and there will be no county junior leagues.

The football leagues have a new sponsor in Cork Credit Unions while RedFM are set to continue as hurling league sponsors.

Delegates heard that the Sports Direct sponsorship was agreed in early December with the chairman adding it was a matter of regret that it became public knowledge.

Meanwhile, there will be no third-level championships this year, including the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups as well as Freshers competitions.

The decision by the Higher Education committee came as little surprise given the public health difficulties and the need to protect all involved along with the general public.

“We have committed to a consultation process with key stakeholders in the hope that some of the disappointing outcomes of 2020/21 can be offset going forward,” a statement said.

UNDERAGE COACHING

On a different front, Rebel Óg Coaching are teaming up with Sciath na Scol to offer Primary School teachers across the county the opportunity to provide students with remote physical education classes over the next three weeks.

The sessions have been designed by Cork GAA Games Development Administrators (GDAs) and cater for all students with age-appropriate activities.

The classes are aimed at getting children active through fundamental movement skills in keeping with the physical education curriculum.

They can be done at home as they are delivered on line. To ensure whole school engagement, classes will be streamed across four levels from infants right up to sixth class.

Cork GAA Games Manager, Kevin O Callaghan, noted that “children across the county are disappointed they cannot get back to school to meet their friends.

“For many children, the highlight of the school week is based around lunch time activity and physical education classes.

Cork GAA are delighted to be able to offer some support to teachers in trying to encourage students to fit in physical activity even though they are not in school.

“Our team of GDAs have put a very engaging programme of activity together and I am sure that many children will have great fun when interacting with the sessions”.

Sciath na Scol Chairman, Dave Collins, says that “children throughout the county are struggling with Covid 19 restrictions.

“Having a programme of physical activity will provide huge benefits in terms of their physical and mental health along with helping to improve concentration levels.

“I would encourage all teachers to promote these classes with their students and place on record our thanks to Cork GAA for providing this support.”

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