Thursday 29 September 2016

Ger Gilroy: Kildare rivals' co-operation shows way to fix clubs' problems

Ger Gilroy

Published 03/06/2015 | 02:30

'Former All Star Niall Buckley strolled about in midfield, dropping the shoulder and rolling the ball off his foot 60 metres over the blackspot like he was back in Croker in 1998'
'Former All Star Niall Buckley strolled about in midfield, dropping the shoulder and rolling the ball off his foot 60 metres over the blackspot like he was back in Croker in 1998'

Maybe a charity game has the bones of a solution to the fixtures conundrum. What if the clubs could all work together to assert their rights to a fixed calendar for club players?

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Somewhere in the ether was the sense that the clubs couldn't agree on enough things to realise the genuine power they have within the GAA.

Last Saturday evening in Newbridge the weather didn't play ball but legends of Kildare GAA did.

A whipcrack of rain just before throw-in at 6.0 meant that the attendance was a bit below what organisers might have wished for as two teams played out an exhibition game at Sarsfields GAA club.

It was four clubs coming together to raise funds for cancer - Sarsfields, Moorefield, Allenwood and Round Towers - traditional rivals deciding that what they stood for was community and helping others and reaching out and togetherness. You know, values.

They parked the natural divides that neighbours have and shared resources.

It was an interesting template and one which if it takes hold could really drive change to so many things in the GAA.

This little gathering managed to convince the vast bulk of the Kildare team that won Leinsters in 1998 and 2000 to turn out.

Niall Quinn and Johnny Murtagh also showed up, as did Ray D'Arcy.

For me the undoubted highlight was watching former All Star Niall Buckley stroll about in midfield, dropping the shoulder and rolling the ball off his foot 60 metres over the blackspot like he was back in Croker in 1998.

The hope is that it becomes an annual event, and maybe it sets off some ideas in the rest of the county, or better yet the rest of the country - the June bank holiday weekend where GAA clubs come together to remember great teams or matches and raise funds for charity.

And maybe even to chat about fixtures.

Irish Independent

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