Football

Players ready to strike over GAA schedule - Eamon McGee on McKenna Cup mess

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

07:29 9 Jan 2020

Former Donegal player Eamon McGee believes that GAA club players are ready to take industrial action to raise awareness of the problems of scheduling, in the wake of the McKenna Cup debacle.

The 2012 All-Ireland winner joined Off The Ball to discuss the situation of player welfare, following his county's decision to pull out of the McKenna Cup, citing player welfare issues.

"I definitely think the club players are, but they need the county players to row in behind them," said Ghaoth Dobhair man McGee.

Time for GAA industrial action?

"Which group of county players will be the first to step forward and, say, jeopardise their season; saying 'maybe this will mess up our preparations here' but to back the club players.

"It will take a few county players first to step forward first, and the Club Players' Association will need to make a stand and then the GPA and the county lads need to row in behind them.

"There is definitely a feeling a club players that [county interests] have interfered with the club game that much that they have a resentment against the county game.

"I see that more and more that people that loved going to Donegal games, but that every Donegal league championship, they don't bother with it at all because they are so full of frustration and resentment towards the county game."

McKenna Cup chaos?

Meanwhile,

Down's semi-final with Tyrone is set to go ahead as planned at the Athletic Grounds in Omagh.

Following a meeting of the Ulster CCC they said, "the committee also considered the welfare of players and took the view that from a player perspective, it would be unfair to expect players to play in the Sigerson Cup on Sunday 12th and line out for their counties on Tuesday 14th - and potentially be expected to play again for their county in the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup Final on Saturday 18th January (and perhaps for their University the following day).

In response to a request from Off The Ball, the GPA gave the following statement on the matter:

"Our position would always be that player welfare has to come first.

Players shouldn’t be expected to ‘double up’ on games or be expected to make a choice between one over another.

A more coordinated fixture calendar is required and that’s what we are working towards with the fixtures review task force, on which we have a representative, to ensure situations like these do not arise going forward."

Donegal could now face sanctions or a fine as a result of their actions.

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Donegal Donegal GAA Eamon McGee Ghaoth Dobhair Mckenna Cup

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