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Temp Head - A vote of 77 17

A vote of 77-17 in favour of the NDSL's rule amendment to Rule 9 (B) which saw the adoption of the change which now allows 'only the relevant league having the power to remove their appointed representative' was a triumph for democracy claimed NDSL CEO Tony Gains following Saturday's SFAI AGM in Dooley's Hotel in Birr Co Offaly.

Gains and Cork Schoolboy League representative Neil Cronin were controversially removed from the SFAI Executive last year after Gains' unsuccessful challenge for the position of chairman having been seconded for the position by the Cork delegate.

With a 60-vote surplus, the proposal was carried easily and that will now see the two schoolboy legislators make a return to executive duties in the coming weeks.

The AGM, under the chair of Mike O'Brien, was attended by 123 voting members and while the meeting was occasionally interspersed with some 'bellicose' exchanges, the overall thrust of affairs and neccessary red-tape was carried out with due approprium and without any great acrimonious debate.

While the DDSL's threatened departure to the Leinster Football Association was not addressed in any 'head-on' manner, the biggest league affiliated has a frustrating day with all their rule changes getting popular support – but not one of them reached the required two-thirds majority and as per rule were deemed 'not carried'.

Although serious in nature, a remarkable preamble debate over the validity of the proposals being put in front of the AGM saw a difference of opinion in that the proper protocol and notification in wording had not been adhered to.



Attempts to resolve the issue were challenged several times from the floor and led to one delegate suggesting that the Executive should 'resign' but that was really an indication of the exasperation and eventually it was agreed to vote on whether the rule changes were admissable despite the AGM's acceptance that the relevant notification and wording was incorrect.

Brian Johnson in his Treasurer's report was asked about the near 20% increase in SFAI expenses and it was explained that an increase in fuel charges had to be met from funds and the rate per kilometre had risen from 25 cents to 40 cents while the loss of the Seery Menton Under 11 Cup also saw a fall-off in cup fees.

He also said some provincial league clubs were now questioning the value in entering SFAI cup competitions because of the outlay in travelling significant distances to matches where they could lose heavily on and off the field of play.



Ironically, Greystones United FC had a proposal to allow teams to affiliate to leagues outside of their own jurisdictions (WDSL) while the DDSL's attempt to have the controversial 49km Rule removed was heavily defeated.

This was despite DDSL Chairman Paddy Dempsey stating that it was his belief that players should be allowed to move to whatever club they wished if it would help improve the child as a player, while he also pointed out that the 'rule' was in direct contravention of EC law which provided for the freedom of movement of all citizens, regardless of age.

Greystones' Derek Ashmore had explained that many of his clubs' teams ended up playing against each other and they needed to affiliate outside of the WDSL to ensure that players were given a varied challenge.

The lack of a programme at the recent SFAI All-Ireland finals was raised by Belvedere YC delegate John Moore.

Moore sought assurances that a match day publication be in place for future finals and while chairman O'Brien pointed out that there was a lack of co-operation from clubs, NDSL delegate Tony Gains volunteered to take on the task as a project as long as the SFAI agreed to foot the overall bill.