Sunday 15 September 2019

Caulfield calls for summit on fixture jam

Cork City manager John Caulfield. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork City manager John Caulfield. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Cork CIty boss John Caulfield wants the FAI to canvass the opinions of managers to avoid a repeat of the fixture logjam that has provoked strong opinions.

The change from a 12-team to a 10-team league has resulted in an increase in Premier Division fixtures, from 33 to 36.

And the FAI has front-loaded the calendar with league games to leave space later in the year for FAI Cup weekends and the prospect of postponements brought about by European runs.

It has angered bosses, especially with the cold snap in March forcing fixture changes that have added to a hectic schedule in April and May.

Some clubs will play five games in 14 days after a run of six league games in three weeks.

Caulfield believes that managers need to be consulted and feels injuries are an unavoidable consequence of the bruising schedule.

Midfielder Gearoid Morrissey picked up a groin strain in Monday's 3-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers - which came 72 hours after a lively game with Dundalk.

"With Friday-Monday, Friday-Monday, you're going to have injuries," said Caulfield.

"All I can say is, this is my fifth year and I've never been asked. I've never been called to a meeting other than a meeting saying we've to give interviews after the games.

"I've never been called to a meeting about the progression of the league and how we can go forward. In fairness there's only one or two people running the league. I keep saying we need more people than that.

"At the same time, it's surprising that when you're a manager of one of the biggest clubs, you've never been called in with any other manager to see if there's a way forward for the league."

Cabinteely's league game with Athlone, which was abandoned last Saturday afterthe floodlights failed in Stradbrook, has been refixed for Monday June 4 with a 3.0pm kick-off.

Limerick's math against St Patrick's Athletic at the Markets Field will be played on Friday week (May 11) in order to avoid clashing with Pike Rovers' FAI Junior Cup final the following day.

Meanwhile, Dundalk have parted company with strength and conditioning coach Graham Byrne, who was an integral member of Stephen Kenny's back-room staff during his time with the club. It's believed there was a dressing-room disagreement involving the fitness expert and a player recently.

Irish Independent

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