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Collins won't go for GPA gig


Former Galway hurler David Collins

Former Galway hurler David Collins

Former Galway hurler David Collins

Former Galway hurler David Collins has ruled himself of the running to succeed Dermot Earley as the GPA's CEO.

Collins was appointed as President of the players' body last March after Earley stepped down from the role to take over from Dessie Farrell as CEO, a position the Kildare man has now vacated after just a year to return to his previous career in the Irish Defence Forces.

Collins has been a highly prominent GPA member and activist over the past eight years and speculation about his candidacy was inevitable.

He has been a member of the GPA's National Executive Committee since 2011 and served as secretary from 2013 through to 2015, before being succeeded by Dublin footballer Paul Flynn, who currently holds the position.

On Saturday, Collins is set to play for Liam Mellows in the AIB All-Ireland club semi-final against Cuala in Thurles and said his involvement with the club and his current job precluded him from applying but he intimated that he could be interested in the role at some stage in the future.

"Right now it's a position you'd want to be based in Dublin (to do)," he pointed out.

"I'm obviously playing with the club and I have my own full-time career in Galway in software so no, not yet."

Collins expressed his belief that Earley's replacement "needs to be a retired inter-county player," although he added that filling the similarly-vacant Chief Operations Officer role is a greater priority just now for the GPA after the retirement of Aidan Gordon.

That position could be filled "in the next week," according to Collins who predicted that the search for Earley's replacement would "take a little bit longer".

"I think that's going to go out to a recruitment agency, they have to recruit for that and see who's available," he explained of the process.

"It's going to be a good man that will get it though.

"And I did say it's going to have to be a former inter-county player because they know the inside track and players then will understand.

"When Dermot came on board, I was fully involved in actually getting him the President's role because Dermot played so much football and understood so much about the GAA and the GPA, what they stood for."

GPA chairman and Limerick hurler Seamus Hickey is currently working as interim CEO while the GPA executive begin the job of identifying a permanent candidate.