Below are some notes taken by a player who attended last week’s Player Forum.
1. Discussed views on 2011 championship
– Consensus was good, people very happy with the new format and how matches went ahead when they were fixed. Improvement for 2012 being that teams won’t play teams in the league that they will be playing in championship.
– Ways to improve: People suggested home and away matches for group stage of championship especially in lower grades to try and improve attendance. No matches on bank holiday Monday was a common agreement throughout. Championship matches should only be played in venues where pitches were enclosed and there changing rooms were of a good standard.
2. Discussed the National league structure and All Ireland
– People felt match price could be cheaper as people haven’t got the money anymore.
– Extra time in league matches as opposed to replays
– Change in All Ireland needed. Senior ,intermediate, junior championship format get rid of the emphasis on poorer teams to win one championship match was suggested.
– More common sense needed with fixtures, ie offaly hurlers playing wex in offaly and footballers in wex, should have been in one venue.
3. The abolition of the minor grade to be changed to u17
– Mixed reaction most people felt there was not enough info available and the change in this grade would in fact change all underage grades.
– Was suggested minors should not be playing adult level to reduce player burnout, this did not go down well as many clubs needed these players to make up numbers for adult teams, and were afraid if the were not playing adult level at minor there would be a greater risk of losing players altogether.
4. Referees were also discussed
– Howe to improve refereeing: Suggested rate my referee; similar to rate my teacher.
– That ref talked more with players and explained descisions rather than their current approach of bringing the ball forward. Lot of people suggested having a repersentitive on the team to talk with the ref like in rugby.
– Lines men should be with the ref as his team.
– Age limit on refs and more consistency with knowing the rules
5. District teams introduced in to senior championship
This would be selected from intermediate A and junior teams in the 4 districts, Wex, Enniscorthy,Gorey and Ross. Teams would play each other in championship format and the winning district going on to represent the district in the senior club championship. (No county p[layers allowed as district matches would be fixed for national league weekends.)
A lot of debate most people were not in favour as the feeling was club trainings were finding it hard to have numbers without their county players of different age levels and with emigration at present. At my table of 10- no one agreed with it.
Players felt it had took the county board 3 years to get the championship to the current structure without starting to add more games and changing layout.