Thursday 23 March 2017

Cooney rules out early Sigerson start

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

GAA President Christy Cooney insists that the Sigerson Cup cannot be played any earlier in the season.

The timing of the Sigerson has irritated some inter-county managers and while third-level competitions are under review, Cooney can't envisage the format of the competition being changed.

"It is not practical to play it before Christmas," he said. "It is just not possible, in my view, to run the competition any earlier than it is. We have asked third level to carry out a significant review of their structure.

"We have a draft report now, (former GAA president) Nickey Brennan chaired that group for me. We would expect a report and recommendation to come before Coiste Bainisti probably after Congress.

"We have been talking about the drain on inter-county players, but if you look at the UCC team on Saturday, they had very few inter-county players on show and they performed extremely well. So you wonder in some respects if you are a committed bunch, keen to make an impression and very fit, it's not just about the inter-county player, it is about the ordinary player."

Cooney also confirmed that the introduction of a hooter system to keep time has been shelved for now due to concerns over the costs involved.

"It was put on the long finger because of the cost. We haven't revisited it, it's something maybe we'll revisit in the New Year, but it's not on our agenda prior to Congress certainly."

Irish Independent

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