Thursday 8 December 2016

Kerry secretary hits back at criticism over county final fixture pile-up

Published 02/12/2015 | 02:30

Peter Twiss welcomes proposals from Croke Park that is aim to free up more time to club competitions.
Peter Twiss welcomes proposals from Croke Park that is aim to free up more time to club competitions.

Kerry county board secretary Peter Twiss has hit back at criticism directed at officials in the Kingdom after the fixture difficulties in the county last month.

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In his report to the Kerry convention, which takes places in Killarney next Monday, Twiss insists that many of the critics don't have an appreciation for what is involved in laying out the county's fixtures.

The Dingle club sounded their disappointment when Legion went forward as Kerry's representatives in the Munster club championship despite having drawn the final.

"In relation to our local fixtures, while we have great competition running throughout the year, there is no doubt that the sheer number of games and the dependency on the availability of inter-county players for our championships games can lead to problems.

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"This was highlighted this year when the entire round three of the SFC had to be postponed due to the Kerry-Cork Munster senior football final replay.

"While all Kerry followers jumped for joy as Fionn Fitzgerald snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat, the consequence from a fixtures point of view only emerged after the All-Ireland final when the CCC were left with the unenviable task of trying to complete the games programme in time for Munster club championships and to give district boards an opportunity to complete their championships before Christmas.

"In relation to the furore that was raised in the aftermath of the drawn SFC final regarding club fixtures, while welcoming debate and constructive criticism, I felt a lot of the comment was lacking in balance and displayed an alarming lack of understanding of the complexities involved in fixture planning."

Twiss goes on to welcome proposals from Croke Park that is aimed at freeing up more time to run off club competitions. "I welcome the new initiative by An t-Uachtarán Aogán Ó Fearghail and Ard Stiúrthóir Páraic Duffy in their attempts to, once and for all, put in place specific initiatives to free up space for club championship activity.

"If people really want something done about club fixtures then they should give these proposals serious consideration and be aware of that old bugbear we all suffer from - fear of change."

Irish Independent

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