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08 Aug 2022

Derry GAA to clamp down on moving fixtures in 2022

The CCC told the county's AGM that over 300 had been moved last year.

Derry GAA to clamp down on moving fixtures in 2022

Glen celebrate their Derry SFC title. Pic by Mary K Burke.

Derry's Competitions Control Committee (CCC) has vowed to clamp down on the number of clubs moving fixtures for the 2022 season.

In their report to the Derry GAA AGM, the CCC said that of 570 games played during the 2021 season, 358 games had been moved away from their original date.

The figure excludes changes made before the beginning of the season to accommodate club requests, and the CCC's report said clubs need to stick to the deadline for making changes.

“A weekly fixtures list is sent to clubs and any changes for the incoming week should be notified by the given deadline,” they said.

“There is a tendency for club managers to agree last minute changes among themselves, sometimes not even informing their club secretary.

“The original referee is not always available for the changed date/time and this is a headache for our Referee Administrator.

“In 2022 as per CCC policy there will be NO game changes accepted after Sunday night for the week ahead unless in exceptional circumstances.”

Dungiven picked up the U20 Jack Cassidy Cup in 2021, but the CCC have raised concerns about the age grade. Pic by Mary K Burke.

Elsewhere in the report, the Committee stressed the need to take another look at the bridging competition between underage and senior, saying the U20 grade 'did not work well'.

They also urged clubs to be honest in choosing their grade, and said there were reports of players prevented from attending to ensure lower-sided games.

“We ask clubs to ensure that they work with managers and team personnel when choosing the grade they enter for 2022 , and that they aim to play 15 a side including all eligible players,” the report said.

“There were worrying reports that some players were being told they were not needed on a given night to ensure a 13 a side game.

“This should NOT be happening and especially not in the current climate when sporting activity is more important than ever.”

Discipline has continued to be an issue, with figures provided by the CCC revealing one club had had 14 incidents dealt with during 2021.

The report indicated the CCC would deal with issues in the 'strictest manner possible'.

"Our games are contact sports and accidental injury will inevitably happen, but a deliberate attack on an opponent or official, causing serious injury is inexcusable, and the fear is that one of these days something will go badly wrong, with terrible consequences for all involved," said the report.

"We need to hammer home to our players the danger of the one punch attack and instil in them a healthy respect for their opponents and officials.

"The disregard for the authority of referees, and the abuse directed at them, especially from young players gives rise for concern.

"These remain UNACCEPTABE and we will continue to deal with them in the strictest manner possible.

"We will implement whatever measures we need to protect players and officials and work to ensure our games are safer and more enjoyable for all."

In his secretary's report to the AGM, Peter Keane said Derry was in a 'good place both on and off the field of play'.

He said the county was close to appointing their full time Head of Operations.

“The County Executive will announce the appointment of a fulltime Head of Operations in the coming days,” said the report.

“When we look at what has happened over the past couple of years which can be put down to a dedicated and hardworking Committee of volunteers backed up by determined sub-committees then this appointment can only lead to further development both on and off the pitch.

“The appointee will have leadership skills, financial expertise, strategic planning skills, marketing skills -all attributes that will help Derry to achieve their objectives in the next few years.”

The report also said Derry were in a 'fairly good' financial position, pointing to the recent acquisition of a new sponsor and a number of appointments yet to come.

“We have reaped the rewards of an excellent championship campaign which generated increased revenue compared with last year,” said the report.

“Over the past few days we are glad to welcome the Errigal Group as the counties main sponsor for football and hurling for the next five years.

“The Counties Marketing consultants Teneo are presently seeking further sponsors for Development squads and Naming Rights sponsorship for both stadia - announcements will be made soon.”

Sean Keane's report ended with a rallying call for the coming year.

“I look forward to working together with you all again next year as we play a vital role in putting Derry back on the map again,” he added.

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