Friday 28 April 2017

End pointless Cats' policy

How much longer will the denigration of Gaelic football in Kilkenny be allowed to continue?

Over a sustained period now it has been obvious that successive county boards in Kilkenny have done little to foster Gaelic football. Every other county, at least on the face of it, appears to put an effort into its weaker code -- even those with a tiny population by comparison to Kilkenny.

In four games in the bottom division of the league this year, the county's footballers have scored 1-8 and conceded an unbelievable 12-75, an average of almost 3-19 a game. The 1-8 is comprised as follows: 0-2 against London, 1-1 against Clare and 0-5 against Longford. Two weeks ago, they failed to register a single score at home to Leitrim.

The 2006 census showed that there were 87,558 people in Kilkenny, compared to 28,950 in Leitrim, a difference of almost 60,000. And yet the county board in Leitrim, which is principally a football county, can send a team out to compete with other teams of similar stature like Longford, Cavan and Fermanagh in hurling's lowest division. Why is it that Kilkenny, with a considerably larger pick and significantly more clubs, cannot at least do likewise?

County boards are expected to promote Gaelic games. It is accepted that, with a couple of notable exceptions, counties will specialise in one code or the other but not to the extent that the weaker one is so neglected. In this Kilkenny has failed in its duty and action should be taken. Perhaps curtailing the county's participation in the hurling championship until such time that it demonstrates even a passing regard for football would focus minds.

Because does anyone seriously believe that a county which produces such talented hurlers, rugby players and soccer players cannot find 22 footballers capable of scoring one point against Leitrim?

jgreene@independent.ie

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