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Clare GAA ecretary Pat Fitzgerald with chairman Joe Cooney (right). Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare GAA Hoping To Finish Club Competitions In September

Derrick Lynch

The chairman of Clare GAA has stated that the 2020 club championships in Clare will have to be finished by the end of September at the latest in order to allow ample time for the preparation of county squads.

Joe Cooney’s comments come as the GAA set out a roadmap for the return of action in 2020, with club championships set to get underway on the weekend of July 31.

The document from Croke Park also states that inter-county panels will be permitted to return to training from September 14 with October 11 identified as the date when the inter-county season will commence.

It is not yet known what format the championships will take, with the GAA due to set out a plan for the remainder of the year over the coming weeks.

Clare GAA are also working on their own roadmap for the next few months, with Cooney confirming that initial conversations are underway with the Master Fixtures committee to draw up a new timeline for 2020.

“We will be meeting with the clubs in the next few weeks and working with them to see how we proceed from here. This will have an impact on how we are able to run our championships and I think they will have to be finished by the end of September at the latest. I cannot see our county managers allowing it to go into October. We know the dates they are likely to be out in the championship and in fairness they will want a few weeks between the end of the club championship and the start of the inter-county to prepare” he said.

The O’Callaghan’s Mills clubman also confirmed that a new format for the club championships in Clare will be required in order to complete fixtures within the timeframe, with that set to be discussed when clubs gather in the next few weeks.

He also outlined that a new Covid-19 committee will be put in place to ensure that all guidelines are implemented for the safety of all concerned.

“We will have to look at what venues we can use for games and where we can achieve social distancing in a safe manner. There will be a lot of work involved in it but we will do everything to make sure our championships are played and we will be working with the clubs. We are lucky that we had no draws made for our championships because we will have to look at a different format. There is not enough time there to get them played with the structures we had in the last few years. There is a lot to be considered to have our competitions played before inter-county starts and if that does not happen, it could be hard to get it finished” he predicted.

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