GAA

'This Is Extremely Unfair On The Players Involved, Their Teammates And Coaches'

'This Is Extremely Unfair On The Players Involved, Their Teammates And Coaches'

The Thurles Sarsfields ladies football team has called it "extremely unfair" that eight of their players are expected to play two important matches with throw-ins four hours apart.

At 2pm on Sunday, the Thurles Sarsfields camogie side play in an intermediate semi-final. Four hours later, the club's ladies football side are scheduled to face Templemore in an intermediate final.

"This week many of our players begin the arduous task of preparing for two massive games," said the club via a statement released on Twitter.

"On Sun Sept 29th, 8 of our football players are part of Thurles Sarsfields Camogie team who play Kilruane McDonaghs in the Intermediate camogie county semi at 2pm.

"Then, unbelievablely, they must tog out for the County Intermediate football final vs Templemore in Templetuohy which throws in at 6pm. Our football game was originally fixed for 3pm but the only accommodation the county board could make was to move the game to 6pm instead.

"Despite both county boards highlighting the plight of the dual players at intercounty level, most recently where Tipp dual star Orla O'Dwyer had to choose between camogie and football all Ireland semi finals, the situation has been deemed unavoidable and the fixture stands.

"We feel as a club that this is extremely unfair on the players involved and their teammates and coaches, with both teams having put in an immeasurable amount of work to get to this stage of their competitions. Some Templemore players will also play camogie [on] Saturday which will affect their preparation too.

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"Playing two games the same weekend would be unheard of for our male counterparts, despite the greater number of teams and dual players, nevermind two games in the space of 4 hours.

"Unfortunately clashes of this nature are nothing new to camogie and ladies football players, not alone in Tipp but across the country at all age groups. By highlighting this issue, we hope that both boards can come together at all levels to work on protecting the efforts of all our players in the future.

"Naturally we will not concede a county final, nor will we use these events as an excuse, win, lose or draw. Instead, accepting the situation as is, this will be our club's last word on the matter as we get ready to do all we can to prepare for the weekend ahead."

Over the weekend, two Cuala women's team faced a similar situation. Nine dual players would have had to play a camogie fixture at 10am and a football game at 6pm. The club decided on player welfare grounds that they would concede the camogie game.

Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

See Also: Dublin Get 13 Nominations As Ladies Football All-Stars List Is Revealed

PJ Browne
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