The new inter-county Under-20 League will cause additional pressure on players, a leading GAA official has warned.
PJ McGowan, a former Donegal senior manager who has served as county chairman, was speaking in his role as one of Donegal’s Ulster Council delegates.
Picture: Donegal U20 manager Gary McDaid. Picture by Evan Logan.
McGowan told the 2018 Donegal GAA Convention that the new U20 League would be played next May, leading into the Ulster U20 Championship in June.
“This will, no doubt, impact on club games with players under pressure to give commitment to both clubs and county,” McGowan said.
“The alternative scheduling being looked at is in February/March, but that is in conflict with third level competitions and, really, there is no ideal time to run this League.
“Personally, I would have favoured a Championship similar to the current Ulster Minor Championship with a back door for defeated counties, but that idea was not supported.”
McGowan outlined his concerns at the scheduling of the U20 Championship in June. He was aware of some ‘strife’ in homes during the 2018 U20 Championship.
He said: “The scheduling of the Ulster U20 Championship to be played in the middle of the Leaving Certificate, which is the most important exam that students sit, caused much strife in many homes with students adamant they were playing and parents adamant they were not.
“Families should not be placed in this situation.”
Donegal’s Central Council delegate, Seamus O Domhnaill, said Donegal voted against the new U20 structures, which will see the League games played on Wednesday nights.
He said: “A lot of our squad are working outside Donegal or are away at College. That will affect them and will also affect other games in Donegal.”
O Domhnaill, who was responding to concerns raised by the Glenfin delegate, Jim Quinn, said Donegal’s geographical spread, means they would actually be better suited in the Connacht U20 League.
He said: “You would get them back to Dublin, Galway or Limerick easier from the likes of Sligo and Galway than if we were playing games in Derry or Antrim.”Tags: