McEntee slams schedule

by Stephen Findlater

BALLYBODEN St Enda’s manager Andy McEntee said the nature of the intercounty calendar is having a hugely detrimental effect on the club scene.
Speaking in the wake of Boden’s exit from the Dublin senior football championship – relinquishing the county, Leinster and All-Ireland titles they won last time around – he admitted his frustration at having to play the tie against Kilmacud Crokes just six days after the county’s All-Ireland success.
Boden’s Michael Darragh Macauley played a key role in the panel while Robbie McDaid, Aran Waters and Shane Clayton were squad members.
For Kilmacud, they had similar issues with Cian O’Sullivan not playing while Paul Mannion took part.
And McEntee says that player welfare is falling by the wayside as a result of scheduling decisions designed for the select few at the top of the game with club players shown scant regard.
“It’s very difficult for a couple of guys to win an All-Ireland on a Sunday and then six days later, play club championship,” he said in the wake of the tie.
“It’s ridiculous and totally unfair. It’s not just because we lost; I said the same last year when we came out of the right side of the result. It’s also not fair on clubs; all clubs are committed to training for 10 months of the year for one game.”
He believes the intercounty season is far too drawn out with long waits between games in an effort to maximise income for the top county games.
“It needs to be changed. I am laughing at the idea of a pool stage at the latter stages of the All-Ireland series. That’s just a money racket and doesn’t make any sense at all. It means more intercounty games and dragging it out even further and less of a window for club players.
“I was doing the percentages and intercounty player in football and hurling account for about 0.5% of the population and all the resources are going into that.
“I will be wearing a different hat [as the newly appointed Meath manager] shortly but it’s not fair on the players and it’s not fair on the club – or Kilmacud to line out without Cian O’Sullivan. The whole thing doesn’t make sense to me.
“How many teams are playing intercounty football? You could play matches every two weeks but then you miss out on advertising revenue and an opportunity to make money.
“Is this about making money or is this about looking after players? Everything, from the GPA, the whole lot; everything is about looking after the 0.5%. I am not sure about that.
“There’s not that many games. Play every weeks and it won’t take that long. Mayo are in the same boat.
“Whatever about winning an All-Ireland, what about those guys having to play after losing an All-Ireland? The intercounty season has to be condensed.”

Related Articles