ÉIRE Óg and Mallow are just two of the many clubs gearing up for the start of a new and different season.
It kicks-off on Monday week, a Bank Holiday, with the opening games in the Cork Credit Union Football Leagues, which are divided into seven divisions with two sections in all bar one.
There are just four teams in each section, ranging from city giants Nemo Rangers and St Finbarr’s in league 1A to Glanmire and Adrigole in league 7.
The top two teams in both sections progress to semi-finals with the winners advancing to the finals.
Éire Óg are in the top tier along with Kiskeam, Nemo and the Barrs and they open with a visit to the Duhallow club.
Mallow are in league 2A with Castlehaven, Valley Rovers and O’Donovan Rossa and they head to Skibbereen for their first competitive game of the new campaign.
They are relevant games because the pair collide in the first of the outstanding 2020 county finals held over from last season, the senior A showdown, pencilled in provisionally for June 19, provided Cork are not involved in the Division 2 league final the same day.
The Ovens club have Ciaran Sheehan and Colm O’Callaghan in the county set-up as is Mattie Taylor with Mallow. James Loughrey retired from Cork recently.
The other clubs involved in county finals, Nemo v the Haven, Kanturk v Knocknagree and Mitchelstown v Rockchapel, will use the league in preparation for these games later in the summer.
This is the first year of a three-year sponsorship deal between the county board and Cork Credit Unions.
Cork GAA Sec/CEO, Kevin O’Donovan, said there were obvious links between the two.
“As our football leagues reach into every corner of city and county, it is appropriate that our partners have similar links with our communities,” he said at the sponsorship launch.
“Once more, the One Cork structure has been a key factor in the new commercial model now evolving locally,” O’Donovan added.
Mallow are also entered for the Tom Creedon Cup, which starts on June 12 and continues on the 26th and July 3 with the four group winners advancing to semi-finals.
They start with a north Cork derby against Kilshannig while premier intermediate finalists, Knocknagree are at home to O’Donovan Rossa.
The popular tournament has attracted recent county champions in Carbery Rangers and Ballincollig as well as another premier senior championship club, Douglas.
The Rosscarbery club are in the same section as west Cork rivals O’Donovan Rossa and Castletownbere.
Cill na Martra were the most recent winners in 2019, when they overcame Knocknagree by a point, 2-9 to 1-11, in the final.
Meanwhile, Croke Park have put two options up for consideration relating to the reinstatement of loss of wages from the Player Injury Scheme for 2021.
One covers a personal policy taken out by players or a team policy taken out by clubs. The other is an additional levy for clubs.
Macroom, Kiskeam, Ballingeary, Millstreet.
Ballincollig, Mallow, Kilshannig, Glanmire.
Carbery Rangers, O’Donovan Rossa, Knocknagree, Castletownbere.
Douglas, St Michael’s, Kinsale, Adrigole.
Kiskeam v Éire Óg; St Finbarr’s v Nemo Rangers, 4pm.
Cill na Martra v Carbery Rangers; Clonakilty v St Michael’s.
Castlehaven v Valley Rovers; O’Donovan Rossa v Mallow.
Fermoy v Newmarket; Ballincollig v Ballingeary, 6.30pm.
Clyda Rovers v Carrigaline; Kanturk v Macroom.
Aghabullogue v Ilen Rovers; Douglas v Newcestown.
Glanworth v Aghada.
St Vincent’s v Kinsale, 12 noon; Bantry Blues v St Nick’s.
Knocknagree v Dromtarriffe; Mitchelstown v Gabriel Rangers.
Mayfield v St Finbarr’s, 11.30am; Glenville v Ballinora.
Grenagh v Na Piarsaigh; Kildorrery v Kilshannig.
Castletownbere v Millstreet; Glanmire v Adrigole.
Dohenys v Nemo Rangers, 7.30pm.