THE chances of a Fingal success in the Dublin Senior Football Championship could increase significantly next year if a 14-team amalagamation request gets the green light from the County Board.
The clubs in question are seeking to join together to play in the SFC, while still retaining their individual status in League and Championship. Fingal's current top ranking clubs such as St Sylvester's, Fingal Ravens, St Maur's, Naomh Mearnog and Skerries Harps would not be involved, but it is believed the amalgamation could still produce a formidable outfit capable of competing in the senior grade. The request was officially put forward last week in a letter sent by St Margaret's secretary David Doran to county secretary John Costello, which begins: 'St. Margaret's GAA Club, in conjunction with 13 other clubs of Intermediate and Junior status in Fingal, wish to formally apply to the Dublin County Board for the entry of a Fingal group team into the Dublin Senior Football Championship for the 2013 season, comprising players selected from across the 14 undersigned clubs.
'The clubs in agreement are: Ballyboughal, Clann Mhuire, Fingallians, O'Dwyers, St. Finians (S), St. Margarets, St. Patricks (D), Garristown, Innisfails, Man O' War, Round Towers (L), Starlights, Wild Geese and St. Colmcilles. The team is provisionally titled 'Fingal Gaels'.' The clubs involved in the request feel the attraction of senior football could help them to retain their best players. 'All the undersigned clubs have considered that this proposal is necessary to help to retain players and to aid the sustainability of their clubs,' the letter continues. 'The clubs in the Fingal region, many of which are based on a rural parish format, have suffered greatly from the loss of players through emigration during the economic downturn. 'The reduced number of players is making it difficult to ensure competitiveness going forward and means that the top players in the respective clubs will, in many cases, have little prospect of playing at senior championship level with their clubs.
This is making it increasingly difficult for many clubs to retain some of their better players. 'In order to help retain the top players at the undersigned clubs in Fingal, it is proposed that a team be entered into the 2013 Dublin Senior Football Championship. 'The proposed team would allow the best players from across the 14 clubs to be selected to play for the Fingal group team in the Senior Championship. 'This team would not interfere with the normal participation of the existing clubs in their respective championships and the selected players would continue to fully represent their existing clubs in all competitions. Some flexibility in arrangement of fixtures to ensure player availability for the Fingal group team and for their existing clubs around championship fixtures may be necessary. 'All clubs believe that this proposal will help the clubs to retain their better players, will aid the development of those players, and will have a positive impact on their team mates and for Gaelic Football in general in the Fingal region.' One potential stumbling block could be Fingallians' status.
If the Swords outfit managed to win their upcoming Intermediate Championship final against Cuala, it is unlikely they could join the proposed amalgamation as they would then be a senior club in their own right. The letter does not stipulate how promotion secured by individual clubs in their respective grades would affect the amalgamation, now or in the future, however, it does outline how the new club would be formed and operated going forward. 'The Fingal based clubs will form the necessary operating structure and shall appoint an Executive Committee consisting of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and at least four other members. The Committee shall appoint a manager, selectors and other personnel as required. 'The manager and selectors will pick a squad of players from across the participating clubs. This proposal is in accordance with Rule 6.12 O/G 2012.'