25 Sept 2022

'No concern for player welfare': Derry club hits out at fixture chaos

The ladies football and camogie teams have been handed fixtures just 20 hours apart.

'No concern for player welfare': Derry club hits out at fixture chaos

Eoghan Rua GAC have said neither side will be able to field without their dual players.

A County Derry GAA club have said they 'need to take a stand' after fixtures for their camogie and ladies football teams were scheduled to take place just 20 hours apart.

Eoghan Rua GAC - who won the All-Ireland junior camogie championship earlier this year - are scheduled to play against Lavey in the 2022 Derry senior camogie quarter final at 5.00pm on Saturday September 17 in Ballinderry.

The following day, their Derry LGFA intermediate championship final against Ballerin has been fixed for 3.00pm in Glen.

On Thursday afternoon the club released a statement criticising the scheduling of the games and calling for the Derry Ladies Gaelic Football Association and Derry Camogie to 'listen to the players' and find a solution.

"This weekend should be one of immense pride for our club," said the statement.

"However, our pride and excitement has been overshadowed as the matches have been scheduled to take place less than 20 hours apart.

"There are 10 dual players who are being asked to either play both matches or be in the unenviable position of having to choose which sport to continue participating in at this late stage of the championship competitions.

"The fate of the non-dual players is resting on the decision the dual players take, as neither side would be able to field without all available dual players.

"Indeed, our club is being put in the position where we are having to consider which code we pursue, something we believe would never happen to men in either hurling or football."

Eoghan Rua said they promote 'active participation' and work together to facilitate camogie and football training to manage playing and training time.

They went onto cite an agreement that September 24 be left clear as a possible match day, and said the refusal to postpone the game by a week was a 'direct clash' with Camogie Rule 2.2 (h) of Section A; to facilitate the dual player.

"The club have reached out to try and resolve this and appreciate that some parties have been sympathetic and tried to find a solution but to no avail," they continued.

"We are appealing for understanding and common sense to prevail.

"We the senior players and management of both the Eoghan Rua senior camogie and football teams feel the need to take a stand in the interests of all club players dual and individual.

"Our ask - what can be done in the best interests of the welfare of our players?

"It is for this reason we are reaching out, we feel we owe it to the younger players in our club to show them that it is possible to play both codes and be successful.

Eoghan Rua are the reigning All-Ireland junior camogie champions.

"We just hope the Associations listen to the players and find a solution which benefits all players, as it is them who are left with the hard choices.

"No player should feel like they are letting their club and therefore managers, team mates and friends down simply because of fixtures," they added.

East Derry MLA Caoimhe Archibald, who has links with the club, said the situation 'isn't on'.

"It’s a huge achievement for any club to make a county final," she said, "but asking dual players to play two matches within 20 hours isn’t on - a solution needs to be found for the welfare and wellbeing of Eoghan Rua Camogs and women footballers." 

Derry Now has approached both Derry Camogie and Derry LGFA for a response.

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