Sunday 25 February 2018

Club players ready to set out agenda after Croke Park meeting

The initiator of the CPA, Monaghan man Declan Brennan. Photo: Sportsfile
The initiator of the CPA, Monaghan man Declan Brennan. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The newly-formed Club Players Association (CPA) will announce details later this week on how to register as some momentum builds towards a more formal approach.

A number of interested parties convened for a meeting in Croke Park on Saturday morning to discuss a pathway forward for the group.

Registration will be through the group's social media channels and website.

The fact that the meeting was held in headquarters reflects how a co-operative approach is likely to be taken with central administration.

The initiator of the CPA, Monaghan man Declan Brennan, has already spelled out how he envisages them to be non-confrontational and the choice and agreement of Croke Park as a venue underlines that.

A statement is expected to be released later in the week to outline the progress they hope to make.

Among the 25 who attended the meeting over the weekend were former Roscommon and St Brigid's goalkeeper Shane Curran, former Kerry and Kerins O Rahilly's footballer Micheál Quirke, former Meath, Blackhall Gaels and St Paul's footballer Anthony Moyles and former Cork and Nemo Rangers footballer Derek Kavanagh.

Moyles has linked up with the CPA after expressing his frustration in his own county at how the club he managed this year, Dunshaughlin, didn't have a game for 17 weeks between April and August but then had three in 15 days.

Kavanagh had unsuccessfully tried in the past to persuade Congress to bring forward the date of the All-Ireland finals by a week

Dr Austin O'Kennedy, the Donegal team doctor when they won the All-Ireland title in 1992 and a strong critic of the manner in which the Donegal championship was played off after the 2012 win, was also present.

They have had pledges of support from a number of other high profile former and current footballers.

Brennan has described the meeting as productive and hopes to deliver greater clarity on their objectives this week.

Central to their manifesto will be the fixtures calendar with renewed support for this year's Congress motion which narrowly failed to get the required two-thirds majority to bring forward the dates of the two All-Ireland finals by two weeks.

Another motion seeking the introduction of extra-time for all championship matches with the exception of All-Ireland finals and provincial finals also failed narrowly - getting 57.5 percent of the vote - but this is also expected to resurface at Congress 2017 with the possibility of All-Ireland semi-finals being included. That too could have CPA backing.

Brennan has said that the CPA won't be getting into individual cases but instead will look to deliver a broader consensus of what their membership will want.

Roscommon club Kilmore became the first club to set up a local branch in their county after they were forced to play a Connacht intermediate club match less than 24 hours after winning their county IFC title.

Irish Independent

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