Thursday 23 November 2017

McKaigue: CPA strike is not the answer, it won't achieve anything

Derry defender Chrissy McKaigue. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Derry defender Chrissy McKaigue. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

There are few players more vociferous than Chrissy McKaigue in their view that change in the Gaelic football calendar is needed to accommodate club players, but the Derry defender has distanced himself from a potential strike by the CPA.

McKaigue believes it was "bad form" that the CPA were not allowed to address Congress last month but says striking "is not the answer" and he feels their lack of recognition has had a positive reaction with a huge spike in membership.

"I certainly wouldn't agree with that. That is not the answer, that won't achieve anything," McKaigue said of a possible strike before adding: "Every action has a reaction and more people than ever have rowed in behind the CPA.

"The CPA doesn't want to create any hostility or any kind of divide. All it wants to do is give the club players a voice, and one of the big things is condensing the inter-county season. Look at the Ulster Football Championship, how can it take 13 or 14 weeks to run off?

"What common sense is there in that? What player welfare? How is that helping the club? These are questions that haven't been answered. It is not as if we are trying to promote something that is really controversial, we are just trying to make the game better.

"I have never been to Congress and don't think I ever will but a lot of the men and women that are voting for these things maybe don't understand the playing perspective as much as they should.

"Players tweeting that they don't share the same views that their county board delegates are voting in - there is something not right there."

As Slaughtneil ramp up their preparations for their St Patrick's Day AIB All-Ireland club SFC final clash with Dr Crokes, McKaigue (27) insists that the pressure is off after the exploits of their camogie side on Sunday.

Their victory over Sarsfields completed part one of the fairytale story for the Derry village while also honouring the memory of the late Thomas Cassidy, joint-manager of the camogie side, who passed away before Christmas.

"You can't not be inspired by what happened and how they played and how they just ripped up the script, played their own game, played with passion and identity that's actually associated with all Slaughtneil teams," said McKaigue.

"You know, oddly, the pressure is off. Imagine they had have been beaten and then all the pressure is on the football. The amount of people that came out of the stadium and said, 'Ah Chrissy, the pressure is on'. Nah, the pressure is off."

Irish Independent

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