'We can't wait until Ballinlough is open and city division games throw in again'

Seandún GAA will run league and championship matches this season
'We can't wait until Ballinlough is open and city division games throw in again'

Shane Howard, Passage, takes on Darren Milner and Josh Galvin, Glen Rovers, in last season's Seandún JAHC at Ballinlough. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

AT the best of times, a divisional secretary’s workload is an onerous task and for want of a better term, it’s a 24/7 job.

With activities on the playing side of things at a standstill at the moment, there might be a perception that things are quiet on all fronts.

However, that is far from being the case in all the Cork divisional units and Seandún divisional secretary Mick Buckley told the Echo that the work is ongoing.

Secretary Buckley, along with chairman Mick Higgins and treasurer Brian Twomey are in constant touch and planning for the new season, whenever that gets the green light, is prioritised.

“Yes, things are not happening on the playing front right now, the pitches throughout the city are closed, clubs are not training and it’s all being done on an individual basis, players having been supplied with their own programmes in the various clubs, he told the Echo.

“In the normal course of things we’d be starting up our leagues right now but that’s all on hold at the moment.

“But we are working away with the new league programme, putting the various leagues together when they can start. We haven’t done anything yet with the championship draws and we are holding off for the moment.

“We’d be hoping to have the club delegates present for the draws but again, it’s a wait-and-see situation.

“We were fortunate that we got the championships finished last season and we will again this year but we have to be governed by others as to when we can get back on the road from the playing side of things." 

With very limited attendances at their magnificent headquarters at Ballinlough, there was a financial hit taken by the Seandún board last season.

“Yes, like all other units of the association, we took a financial hit. It means that the purse strings have to be tightened and we are looking for sponsors.

“That’s a work in progress and the thing right now is that you cannot go in to meet people who might be willing to come on board with us but we’d be hopeful."

PREMIER SENIOR HURLING

One positive from the recent past was the announcement by the board that Seandún would be re-entering the Cork County SHC, something that Buckley is delighted with.

“I believe it’s a great move for us. Why shouldn’t we be in the SHC, we have plenty of good hurlers spread across the division at intermediate and junior level to form the basis for a team that would be very capable of giving a very good account of itself.

“Paul McCarthy is the manager of the team with Justin McCarthy coming on board as coach and Paul has got things underway already.

“He has got a squad of players that he can communicate with through Zoom and the clubs of the city have been very supportive so far.

“There is an appetite again for a Seandún hurling team in the Cork SHC and to be represented in that is very exciting for us again.”

Buckley does not know how the season will be worked out but he’s hoping that the model of last season, the clubs out first before the inter-county will be repeated.

I’d be all for that, it worked very well last season and, after all, the playing population is made up of something like 98% of the players.

“If that does not happen this time, players from mid to late 30s might decide not to play at all so I think it’s important that the club season takes the lead again."

The Ballinlough complex is closed at the moment, has been for some time now but the work goes on behind closed doors there.

“Yes, we have to maintain the grounds, the grass has to be cut every week and we are doing that.

“Ballinlough is a great home for the city division, always has been, very central and we can’t wait to get the supporters of the clubs back in there again."

And Buckley finishes on a positive note.

“It is very tough for everybody at the moment but we must remain focused where the future is concerned.

“The games will be back, Ballinlough will be open again and, hopefully, the Seandún hurlers will make an impact in the Cork SHC."

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