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Club Players Association call...
Football

Club Players Association call for County First in 2021

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15:19 18 Dec 2020

The Club Players Association feel provincial club championships will be lost for a second year unless the GAA adopts a ‘county first’ approach.

With a split season set to be introduced in 2021, the CPA want to see the inter-county season completed before club. 

The CPA have been vocal advocates of the split season proposal which will be put before Congress early next year.

However, there has been talk in recent weeks that the continued COVID-19 restrictions would see the game's authorities consider holding off on the inter-county season.

The GAA want to avoid another year of empty stadiums for inter-county matches, with their coffers already dented.

But the CPA have warned that if clubs are forced to play their season first, its condensed nature will see pressure put on club players to train with county panel as the inter-county season nears.

The club players' body also don't want to see a repeat of 2020 when the provincial club championships went unplayed due to coronavirus.

A CPA spokesperson said, "There is still great concern and uncertainty around the pandemic, and we are nowhere near what we would consider ‘normal’ condition for training and matches.

"The health and well being of players and their families absolutely has to be the primary driver in deliberations.

"Given the numbers involved and the practicalities, not to mention the impact on participation levels and underage games, it is entirely logical that clubs must start after county competitions have concluded.

"The Six counties in Ulster are heading into a restrictive lockdown that will place significant restrictions on all sport including training and matches, until at least the start of February.

"In the rest of Ireland, it will be impossible to plan or play any club competitions until Level 2 or lower is implemented country wide.

"This means that it will most likely be towards the end of March at the earliest before clubs could even hope to return, taking account of statements made by the Tanaiste this week."

John Maughan | Mayo vulnerabilities | All-Ireland nostalgia| Different 2020 Championship

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