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Conor McGraynor questions return-to-play roadmap as GPA reveals 17 per cent of players may not return this year

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Conor McGraynor of Wicklow, centre, in action last year against Laois. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Conor McGraynor of Wicklow, centre, in action last year against Laois. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Conor McGraynor of Wicklow, centre, in action last year against Laois. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

The GAA's latest relaxation of its return-to-play roadmap has been questioned by Wicklow footballer Conor McGraynor.

Taking to Twitter today, McGrayor said he found it hard to understand why Premier League and AFL players, who are professional, are getting rigorously tested for Covid-19 … and yet, "from this day next week our club can have a practice match and some guy can hang out of me for an hour (who could be working in a hospital) no bothers."

The Avondale clubman has been a Wicklow senior footballer since 2011, when handed his debut by Mick O’Dwyer, but he opted out for the 2020 season before the coronavirus pandemic brought all GAA activity to a standstill in March.

His tweet comes in the wake of a Gaelic Players’ Association survey of its members that suggested almost one-in-five of respondents may not return to GAA activity because they deem it not safe to do so.

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GPA CEO and former Dublin star Paul Flynn. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

GPA CEO and former Dublin star Paul Flynn. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

GPA CEO and former Dublin star Paul Flynn. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

In an update to members from CEO Paul Flynn, dated today and posted on the GPA website, the former Dublin footballer writes: "While there is now government guidance around a safe return to team sports, we are aware that for some of you, your health and safety and that of your family and close friends remains a concern.

“While the majority of players feel it is safe to return, 17pc of players have indicated they may not do so.

“We will work to resolve the issues which you have raised; however, while Covid-19 remains in the country, there will remain some risk.

“We will respect the decision of any players who opt out of playing in 2020. Equally, we would call for understanding from county boards, managers, and supporters on this matter,” Flynn continues.

“We are committed to putting support structures in place for any player who makes this difficult decision, and we urge you to reach out to your GPA representative or directly to anyone on the GPA team.”

Online Editors