Oisín McConville has spoken eloquently out about DKIT's decision to forego today's Trench Cup Final against GMIT due to concerns over player welfare.
The Armagh All-Ireland winner c0-manages the current crop at Dundalk.
On Wednesday, DKiT beat TUS Midwest to reach today's Trench Cup decider. The competition, which is a rank below the Sigerson, would have marked DKIT's second game in three days and the third game in four days for some intercounty panelists set to play this weekend.
The Dundalk-based players said enough is enough and voted to sit out the final. McConville said they had flagged the issue to the GAA;s Higher Education board and asked for it to be rescheduled.
He spoke to LMFM about how the decision came about.
"It wasn't an easy decision," McConville said. "It was the players who came up with this yesterday."
"They didn't want to go without eight or nine of their teammates. So they decided against traveling and we would fully support them in what they had to decide."
Bit more on this.
Original plan was for semi and final to be played today and tomorrow but was changed.
DKIT have three players who could play for Monaghan on Saturday evening. Another handful will be with Louth on Sunday.
They only won their semi in Limerick on Wednesday. https://t.co/P12cjATl1r
— Donnchadh Boyle (@depboyle) February 18, 2022
Unlike the Sigerson Cup final - which was staged midweek this week, and the Fitzgibbon Cup final, which happens tomorrow, on an off-week for the hurling league, the Trench Cup final is staged the day before a full slate of intercounty football matches.
Nine DKIT players will feature in Allianz National League fixtures over the weekend, including Louth and Monaghan players making away trips on Saturday and Sunday.
The Trench Cup final was due to be played in Carlow today. McConville says it's something they've flagged for weeks.
"This is something that we've flagged three or four weeks ago with the Higher Education and the GAA and we would have felt it was an easy fix."
"We've flagged it, we were getting nowhere, there was a meeting again last week. The competition changed from a Friday and Saturday to a Wednesday and Friday."
On the way home (from Limerick), we took a bit of a poll from the players and who was going to be available and who wasn't. If you're going to be missing eight or nine players it demeans the competition and we thought there might have been an easy fix. So again we contacted the Higher Education GAA and they were unwilling to change. We were left in the situation we were left in.
The DKIT situation adds to the discussion on player welfare in the GAA and a hectic calendar for intercounty players trying to juggle commitments with club, county, and college all at once.
Earlier this month, Mayo's Tommy Conroy suffered a cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for the season after playing three games in a week between county and NUIG.
In January, two Kerry's intercounty footballers played in back-to-back games on the same day due to a clash in the fixture list of MTU Kerry.
"There was three of them faced with playing Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday," McConville said in LMFM. "Three games in four days."
"There's just a time where you just have to stop. No. It's too much.
The funny thing is, we done a thing with the players a number of weeks ago and we were talking about lifestyle and mental health."
"The courage to say no in situations. You can't say one thing and act in a completely different way. This resonated with the players this time because there was an easy fix. That wasn't afforded them."
"To play three games in four days is not doable for amateur athletes."