GAA CLUBS in Donegal are being encouraged to weigh up the pros and cons of a 2020 minor championship being run at under-18 or under-17 level.
Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub received a number of queries from clubs on the matter in recent days after a memo was circulated from the County Board seeking their preference.
At a forum some months ago to discuss the plan saw clubs vote in favour of retaining the even-numbered age groups for 2020.
We contacted the Donegal CCC for clarity on the matter.
“There has been speculation floated that the CCC are looking to remove the minor championship, which is not the case,” Donegal CCC secretary Ed Byrne said.
“We do not want to force a competition that is not wanted, but we want to advise clubs of consequences.
“What we want to avoid is an under-18 player possibly burnt out playing championship at adult and minor grades and training with both grades. It’s an issue clubs need to address with managers on the possible issue of burn-out.
“A plan will be put forward to our clubs as soon as we hear from the CCCC at Croke Park. There will be adequate football provided for young players.”
The minor championship will be run during the same window as the adult competitions. The minor grade games will be on week nights with adult championship games taking place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The advent of Friday night Championship will be a new departure.
Should the under-18 format be retained for the minor championship, those 18-year-olds who are playing senior football could be playing two or even three championship games inside a seven-day period.
Mr Byrne said: “Some smaller clubs may have to use the 18-year-old players to get out their team and that will mean the player playing a lot of games. A possible way to avoid that is by moving to an under-17 competition for this year only. It’s just something for clubs to consider in a conversation.
“All regulations and competitions can be changed now with Croke Park’s permission so any new competition will require Croke Park sign-off. It’s just important that the conversation is held before the schedule is put forward and clubs are aware of this.”
The CCC, however, are keen to stress that they have no preference in terms of the age group with the format not swayed by a decision to that end.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the entire calendar up in the air, but fixture planner across the country are now working towards a resumption of games.
Club teams can return to training from June 29 with games to begin from July 31 while the inter county season will get underway on October 17 – eleven weeks after the club action is set to begin.
The CCC is discussing a range of proposals for its championships and the options will be rolled out to clubs once further guidelines are issued from the Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC).
It is understood that the CCC is also exploring the option of playing a championship at under-20 or under-21 level in 2020 with other competitions being mooted at adult and underage levels.Tags: