CLUB players returned to training this week and almost immediately they were shown a rough outline of how the season is going to shape up.
County board CEO/Sec Kevin O’Donovan produced a magnus opus, outlining in great detail a fixture list that should go a long way to satisfying players and clubs alike.
It’s some major operation considering not only had he to deal with cramming in a whole championship season, but factoring in a plethora of county finals from last year as well as taking on board Cork’s long-awaited All-Ireland U20 hurling final together with this year’s Munster championships.
At least club players can now plan their lives outside football, hurling and training with the first competitive games of the new campaign starting with football on the weekend of June 7.
A new League Cup competition will replace the leagues for 2021 with football and hurling played on alternate weekends from June 7 and 13, respectively.
The various grades have two groups of four with the top two in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.
Some modification was required at the bottom grade in each code in order to facilitate the existing number of teams.
These competitions will have no impact on league gradings for 2022, which will instead revert to 2020 positions.
Groups were based on previous league positions, with modifications added to avoid clubs meeting in both League Cup and championship.
The first major final held over from last year to be played is the county senior A football showdown between Mallow and Éire Óg who also met in the group phase with the Avondhu club coming out on top.
It has been confirmed for Saturday, June 19 at Pairc Ui Chaoimh with a 7pm start, but it could go back a week depending on Cork’s progress in division 2 south in the league as the final is pencilled in for that weekend as well, providing the provincial championships don’t get in the way.
That Saturday, the quarter-final stages of the 2020 county junior football championship are also listed with some divisions needing to finish last season’s championships in double quick time.
City champions Passage are heading to Dunmanway to play Urhan while the winners in north Cork, either Buttevant or Charleville, take on Kilmacabea, one of the fancies for the title.
Damien Gore is in the Cork set-up and should Ronan McCarthy’s advance to a league final, this could delay the club quarter-final by a week.
The semi-finals are listed for the following week with the decider provisionally scheduled for the weekend of July 2-4.
It’s proposed to start the divisions/colleges section of the county premier senior football championship on Wednesday, July 14.
UCC, CIT and Duhallow have been handed byes to the semi-finals while other divisions entered will play-off to determine who makes up the fourth team.
Those games will be completed in September with the eventual winners joining the main competition at the quarter-final stage.
Two other remaining county finals from 2020, Knocknagree-Kanturk in premier intermediate and Mitchelstown-Rockchapel in intermediate A are provisionally fixed for weekend of July 30-August 2, the earliest dates, when those matches can be played.
The eagerly anticipated Nemo Rangers-Castlehaven premier senior showdown is marked down for August 6-8, the same weekend as the All-Ireland hurling semi-finals.
The first 2021 championship games are listed in football for August 20-22.
St Finbarr’s, Nemo Rangers, Kiskeam, Éire Óg.
Clonakilty, St Michael’s, Cill na Martra, Carbery Rangers.
Castlehaven, Valley Rovers, O’Donovan Rossa, Mallow.
Ballincollig, Ballingeary, Fermoy, Newcestown.
Clyda Rovers, Carrigaline, Kanturk, Macroom.
Douglas, Newcestown, Aghabullogue, Ilen Rovers.
Dohenys, Nemo Rangers, Glanworth, Aghada.
Naomh Aban, Rockchapel, Bishopstown, Bandon.
St Vincent’s, Kinsale, Bantry Blues, St Nick’s.
Knocknagree, Dromtarriffe, Mitchelstown, Gabriel Rangers.
Glenville, Ballinora, Mayfield, St Finbarr’s.
Kildorrery, Kilshannig, Grenagh, Na Piarsaigh.
Glanmire, Castletownbere, Millstreet, Adrigole, Ballydesmond.
R1: 1v2, 3v4. R2: 3v1, 4v2. R3: 1v4, 2v3.
Semi-finals: Winner in A v runner-up in B; winner in B v runner-up in A.
Group 7 has five teams so there will be no semi-finals, just a final between the top two teams.
Group winners will have home advantage. The finals will be played at neutral venues. The winners receive €750 and the runners-up €450.