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"There are two options..." - Wooly and GAA's Paraic Duffy debate the pressing issues facing the club player

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

21:15 10 Nov 2015

"I'm involved in the club scene myself for the last few years and it's very frustrating. June, July, August you probably play three league games in three months during the best time of the year when the pitches are in great shape. And then at the end of the year, you're inundated with fixtures in bad weather, when people don't want to be playing football".

The issue of club fixtures is hanging over the GAA at present as highlighted by Barry O'Shea on Off The Ball last night, and on tonight's show we put some of the major question marks to GAA director general Paraic Duffy when he joined Nathan Murphy and Colm 'Wooly' Parkinson in studio to debate the issue.

"From the way I look at it, is that the problem here is the inter-county season is too long. There's two ways to fix the club and you've fixed some of the issues with the burnout," said Wooly.

"So while you have the issue that club players play club and inter-county, you cannot keep everybody happy. So there's two options: you either separate the inter-county from the club and you say 'you're playing one or the other' at the start of the year and you run off the club without inter-county players. Traditionalists won't allow that. The other option is to shorten the inter-county season significantly - not by two weeks - significantly. The inter-county season now is nine months. It's far too long. It dominates the whole calendar."

Duffy gave his response to that idea and also detailed the proposal to discontinue the All-Ireland U21 championship, saying that the two main points are addressing the "plight of the club players" and "welfare of players between 17 and 21".

Listen to the full debate via the podcast:

"There are two options..." - Wooly and GAA's Paraic Duffy debate the pressing issues facing the club player

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

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