The P.R.O of Bord na nÓg Peil is expressing serious concern about the future of the Clare minor football structure after just four clubs agreed to compete in the 2019 Clare Minor A championship.
Lissycasey’s Anne Hayes raised the matter at this week’s meeting of Clare GAA, and stated that a number of clubs had informed the underage board that they wish to compete in the lower grades of this year’s championships.
Ms. Hayes stated: “I have been involved in Bord na nÓg for 30 years, and this year we sat down to do out the minor structure in this county. We had our teams based on population, results from two years at U-16 and from four years ago at U-14, on what the clubs had, and we put our structures in place. I am disappointed to say that we came in here to a meeting and only four clubs would play minor A football. You cannot play a minor A championship with only four clubs. It is not possible. Every club wanted to go down, and if that is what the clubs are aspiring to, playing in Division Two and Three, where are we going putting out minor county team because they are not going to be able to compete if they are playing in the lower grades. The clubs should be ashamed of themselves. We had one club who had three players on the county minor squad who were looking to play in Division Three. We have two of the most prominent clubs in the county who are competing in the senior championship and they wanted to go into Division Three. It was always our view that the Division Three was always there for the weaker clubs or those who did not have the numbers”.
Vice-chairman of Clare GAA PJ McGuane, who is also involved with Bord na nÓg Peil, echoed those sentiments.
“I agree totally with what Anne is saying. We have identified a couple of strong clubs to their credit at minor level and the objective of every other clubs seems to be to avoid them come hell or high water. The analogy I would use is if that was carried forward nationally, no one would play Dublin. They would be above on their own and we would have no All-Ireland. It is all competing as far as I am concerned, but it is all about winning as far as other people are concerned” said the Cooraclare man.
Board chairman Joe Cooney pleaded with clubs to work with both underage boards in order to resolve the issues.