Tuesday 25 October 2016

Antrim star CJ McGourty slams County Board after being axed for famous Laois win

Cóilín Duffy

Published 22/06/2015 | 10:09

CJ McGourty
CJ McGourty

Antrim Senior Footballer CJ McGourty has hit out at GAA officials in the county, after he and his brother Kieran, along with Conor Burke were axed from the Saffrons line-up for their historic win over Laois, after featuring in a club hurling game on Friday night.

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The trio were only made aware that they had been dropped, while on the bus to Saturday’s game, after lining out for St Galls in an Antrim Senior Hurling League game the previous evening.

Both McGourty’s and Burke were needed to make up the numbers, with a total of 17 players togging out for the relegation battle with Clooney Gaels, which St Galls won by two points.

“It left us in a bit of a position as the county board wouldn’t call the game off,” CJ said.

“We tried to get it off. The club secretary and the county manager were liaising with everyone, but the County Board just wouldn’t call the game off. It was a relegation battle and we had to play - it was as simple as that.

“We had 17 players, and two of them were minors and we won by two points.”

And CJ says that St Galls club members will be meeting in the coming days to decide on their next course of action, with other club members having been forced to choose between club and county in recent days, including Antrim Minor footballer CJ McKenna.

“During the week the Under 21 hurling semi-final was meant to be on, and it was asking boys like Conor Burke, who is also on the Antrim Senior Football team, but didn’t start against Laois, to play five games in seven days.

“That’s shocking for the Antrim County Board to go and do that,” he said.

“I don’t want to go into too much depth about it. It was a good result for Antrim against Laois, a very good result, but at the end of the day there are things that aren’t right in the county.

“Asking boys to play two games in 15 hours is absolutely ridiculous. It cost the Antrim Senior Football management of three players as well. It put our club in a bad position, so these things are going to have to be looked into.

“At the end of the day Antrim won and it’s a good day for Antrim football, but for the three boys, it’s extremely disappointing. The three of us and our club are not happy at the minute, and there will be talks during the week to bring this further.

“Things worked out well for Antrim, and that’s the main thing. No one is bigger than the team, or bigger that the county - but on a personal view and from a club perspective we are very unhappy with the lack of support we are getting as a dual club, and trying to keep games going in the city, because they are struggling."

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