Tuesday 16 January 2018

O’Mahony urges action on ban

John O'Mahony has accused some counties of breaking the GAA's ban on team training
John O'Mahony has accused some counties of breaking the GAA's ban on team training
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

MAYO football boss John O’Mahony has accused some counties of breaking the GAA’s ban on team training before Christmas and said he hopes Croke Park carries out its threat to punish them for it.

Asked on RTE about the ban on collective training in November and December, O'Mahony said “the only issue I’d have with it, and we all hear the rumours, is that certain counties have trained continuously despite the ban.

“The GAA have suggested they’ll be taking action against them. Anecdotally we know what has gone on, and I hope that issue will be followed up,” he added.

“No county would have a huge issue if everyone was operating off the same hymn sheet,” O'Mahony said

“We were allowed to have a couple of trial games where you used players who wouldn’t have been in the 2009 panel, and we availed of that.

“But there should be questions asked about anyone who trained right through the November and December ban and we’ll have to see what happens on that.”

Inter-county players are allowed to do their own individual training before January 1 but, in a bid to lessen burnout, the GAA introduced a ban on collective training before the New Year and this is the second season it has operated.

In late October Director General Paraic Duffy indicated that, far from easing up on it, the GAA were going to get even stricter, insisting counties who broke it would be hit with heavy fines.

County officials were brought to a meeting in Croke Park last autumn where it was outlined to them that the GAA intended to strictly police the rule for the 2010 season and that fines, where applicable, would likely be taken out of their National League receipts.

Duffy has accepted that the GAA’s pre-season – from January 1 to the start of the NFL – is shorter than ideal but has stuck firmly to the ‘closed season' principle despite vehement opposition by some managers.

They are sure to raise their objections again now after the weather has so badly disrupted their early-season plans.

The big freeze has seen all of this weekend’s pre-season provincial games called off and left several counties unable to train, though O'Mahony revealed that Mayo managed to train indoors in Breaffy House both last night and on Tuesday.

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