Graigue Ballycallan chairman Dave O’Neill has praised the GAA’s decision to move forward with a ‘split’ intercounty and club season from 2022 onwards.
The motion was passed at GAA Congress last month allowing for the intercounty season to be completed before the club campaign would commence. The new rule means that there is a clear timeframe for both club and intercounty competitions.
O’Neill feels that it is a positive move for everyone involved with the GAA.
“We now have a situation where the club player has a season to aim for. They used to have a pre-season in February and one in the summer and that wasn’t sustainable, so the split season is certainly a positive that has come out of the pandemic,” said O’Neill.
O’Neill also praised the Club Players Association for disbanding immediately after the split season was agreed upon, saying that there is no longer a need for them despite their good work over the last four years.
He said: “If we don’t need them (CPA) it will be a success and I do believe that it (split season) will be a success because it’s the only feasible option for everyone at club and intercounty level. They’ve done great work but are no longer needed.”
O’Neill expects to welcome large groups of players back to the club once the pandemic comes to an end.
“There will be large groups of players returning to the club and I would say that has been mirrored across the country because people want to play again after Covid.”
Former Galway star Eugene Cloonan was recently announced as the new manager of the Graigue Ballycallan senior side. The appointment came as a surprise to many, but O’Neill explained that it was an easy choice once Cloonan showed interest in the job.
“His enthusiasm and his passion are unquestionable.
“There’s massive anticipation of his arrival and the whole club is really looking forward to getting going this year.”