Roscommon club to form local Club Players Association branch after "unjustified" fixture congestion

Kilmore were forced to play two games in the space of 24 hours

BY Adrian Collins 15:28 Tuesday 25 October 2016, 15:28 25 Oct 2016

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Tommy Kenoy, one of the driving forces behind Croke Park opening its doors to soccer and rugby in 2007, has backed the establishment of a Club Players Association (CPA). 

Declan Brennan, a former selector for Monaghan, has been a vocal supporter of the move to establish a CPA, and spoke to Off the Ball recently about the support that they have been getting for setting up a body to represent players around the country. 

Speaking about the packed schedule, Brennan said: "We think that physically and mentally, it's to the detriment of the club player. Now, people do forget that county players are club players, so I've got as many messages from county players throughout the country, past and present, delighted with how we've moved forward and are very enthusiastic about getting behind it."     

In a letter to the Connacht County Council, the Roscommon Board and Croke Park, Kenoy backed the motion, saying that he was appalled with the treatment that club players were getting, in light of his Kilmore side having to play two games in the space of 24 hours this past weekend.

Kilmore GAA emerged victorious in the Roscommon Intermediate final against Oran on Saturday, but only after a tight contest was decided in extra-time by a score of 2-16 to 1-11. Less than 24 hours later, they faced the daunting task of tackling an Intermediate Connacht quarter-final in Tuam. 

Image: Roscommon delegate Tommy Kenoy speaking at the GAA Annual Congress in 2005, when he was a supporter of the move to open Croke Park to other sports.

"We have reached a point where our club is no longer prepared to accept competition structures that give no certainty or regularity to club games and expose club players to unjustified and unwarranted physical and mental demands," read the statement. 

"We left the dressing-room in Strokestown at 4.30pm on October 22nd, and took the field for a warm up 19-and-a-half hours later in Tuam with players who were physical and mental wrecks from the day before," it continued.

Speaking to, Kilmore Club Chairman Tommy Kenoy explained why he his club would be establishing the first branch of the CPA, and providing support to players to ease the congestion. 

"In fairness through the work of the GPA, the inter-county players are being pretty well looked after, but at club level, that simply isn't happening. It's basically because players are being asked, as happened to us at the weekend, to play successive games within very tight timeframes.

"That takes no account of the physical and mental demands that puts on club players, and that's being replicated right across the association week in, week out. It needs to be dealt with."

Image: Spectators before a game at St. Brigid's GAA Club, Kiltoom, Co Roscommon. ©INPHO/Andrew Paton

Noting the groundswell of support and positive reaction that Brennan received in the wake of announcing the move to found a CPA, Kenoy stated that the support had been replicated in his county since they announced that they would be setting up the first local branch of the organisation.

"We've had the same reaction here in Roscommon [...] people are coming up to me and coming up to other club officers and saying 'that needs to happen. It's time the Association took greater account of club players and put a proper structure on club fixtures across the association'."

"We're very supportive of what Declan Brennan is doing up in Monaghan. He will be calling a meeting in the next short period and inviting people to attend it, and we will certainly be represented at that.

"We have already decided to form, if you like, a local branch of what will be the CPA here in our parish, and those people who we decide to put on it will be attending that meeting. They will be fully supportive of the work that the forthcoming CPA will be doing."


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