herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Skelly warns counties over club championships

LEINSTER Council chairman Martin Skelly has delivered a veiled warning to Dublin that they must run off their club championships on schedule this year.

Dublin’s unprecedented qualification for four All-Ireland finals last September caused a major fixtures backlog in the capital, and ultimately forced Leinster to revise their provincial club schedule to accommodate the Dublin football champions.

But in his annual address Skelly has now commented: “The playing of a Leinster club final on the Sunday before Christmas is asking an awful lot of our players and supporters alike. It is the duty of every county to have their championship concluded on time so that their local winners can partake in the Leinster club championship.”

On a related topic, the Leinster chief said it “still baffles” him that the All-Ireland club finals cannot be completed in January instead of waiting until St Patrick’s Day.

He cites the mental and financial strain placed on competing finalists who get no break from competition, and the knock-on effect on smaller counties deprived players for the National League. “I question the idea of keeping a competition going for three months plus to provide a GAA occasion on St Patrick’s Day,” Skelly concludes.

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