Saturday 25 February 2017

Croke Park insist onus is on counties to police winter training ban

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

GAA president Christy Cooney
GAA president Christy Cooney

IN a surprise move, GAA president Christy Cooney yesterday put the onus back on individual counties to police the winter-training ban.

In the wake of reports that Roscommon had flouted the ban to play a challenge tie against Dublin Institute of Technology last week, Cooney called on county boards to take charge of the situation they had voted in themselves.

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) will investigate that Roscommon infringement directly and an outcome is expected at the end of January at the earliest.

But in calling for counties to take responsibility, Cooney appeared to be in conflict with the comments of GAA director-general Paraic Duffy, who earlier this year insisted that the association would not "meander" on the issue.

Cooney was less emphatic yesterday, suggesting that Croke Park monitoring what happens in every county was not realistic.

"At the end of the day, we can only do so much. If it comes to us having somebody monitoring every county, watching players, and are they training or not training -- counties have to respect the situation," he said.

"They voted at Congress for this, they made the decision, it's time they respected it. Counties have responsibility, managers have responsibility and we believe, from a medical approach, that players need rest time.

"They also need time with their families. It's Christmas time and they should have that time and space. Collective training at this time of year is unnecessary."

The GAA president would not be drawn on the specifics of the recent incident involving Roscommon, saying that the CCCC would be investigating the matter.

"That is going to be dealt with," he said at the launch of the GAA Games Development Coaching Conference, which will take place on January 14 in Croke Park. "It'll be passed on to the CCCC."

Irish Independent

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