Carlow senior football manager Niall Carew says “it’s very disappointing” that the intercounty GAA season has been suspended for the foreseeable future.
Reacting to the news earlier in the week that GAA intercounty players are no longer considered to be elite sportspeople, Carew was critical of the role that the GAA played in allowing the demotion to happen.
“It’s very disappointing that the GAA don’t have an appetite for us to be playing.
“It’s very disrespectful to our lads who are elite and it’s a slap in the face to say that we’re not elite because we are,” said Carew.
Carew was very bemused with the decision that ended intercounty players’ status as elite. He believes all people who represent their county, whether it be in football, hurling, ladies football or camogie should be allowed to take to the field for the league campaigns.
“Every intercounty player in the country puts in a massive shift all year. GAA is part of our culture as a country and it should have gone ahead.”
The Carlow manager, who was hoping to guide his players to Division 3 of the Allianz Football League along with having a successful Leinster Championship, believes that the success of last winter’s return to action should have been enough to keep GAA as an elite sport.
“I thought we did a great job last year and there were no outbreaks at all. I’m not saying that there won’t be any outbreaks but we proved ourselves in 2020,” said Carew.
Carew is also of the opinion that this weeks announcement will only help to improve other sports in the country.
“Other sports are going to push ahead of us now which is disappointing.
“In the long run, we’ll lose more money than we gain. That’s a big problem because players will move to other sports like soccer and rugby where they actually can play,” stated Carew.
Carew also claimed that there is quite possibly a “hidden agenda” to the decision as the GAA may not be in a position to run an intercounty season from a financial standpoint.
“There could be a hidden agenda for the GAA because they don’t have the finances. If that’s the case, that’s fine, just tell us. It’s disappointing that they didn’t fight our corner.”
Listen to our full interview with Niall below