Brian Cody backs CPA proposals to tackle fixture congestion

The Kilkenny manager wants to see the inter-county season condensed to accommodate the club player

Brian Cody

Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Grealy 

Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody has thrown his support behind the Club Players Association's (CPA) proposals to help reduce fixture congestion in the GAA.

This week, the CPA announced they would no be supporting GAA President Páraic Duffy's proposal on fixture change on the following grounds:

  • "They do not fully take on board the need for an agreed fixtures programme for club players, or take account of legitimate concerns raised including club player welfare and well being, holidays and closed season.
  • "They are detrimental towards hurling, and in their presented form are creating an unwelcome imbalance in the Association, especially at a time when hurling nationally needs renewed focus. Both games must be given parity of esteem. This is non negotiable.
  • "The proposals pre-date the establishment of the Club Players’ Association. The view expressed to us by club players who are the majority playing population, is that club fixtures need to be fully considered in any proposals going forward."

They suggested a "fixture think-tank" to resolve issues in the GAA calendar, something which Cody says he would be behind.

"Club players should get the time to play their games at the important times of the year, particularly in the summer," he told the Irish Independent. "The county scene waiting six weeks for the next game is crazy really, the season has to be condensed.

"There has to be a real coming-together of county and club; it's pointless saying just draw up your inter-county calendar and then having a look at the club. You have to look at both together and see how you can marry both."

 The 62-year-old also noted that club players having to decide between the club and county are "losing the sense of who they are".

"They get into the county team because they're leaders with their clubs but as soon as they stop being leaders for their clubs, and it's very easy to lose track of the club, they lose the right to be county players.

"It's essential that club players are catered for and the whole thing should be looked at. I don't have the answers but it's essential that we don't just keep going doing the same thing because it has always been done down through the years."