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New proposals could stop Minors from playing adult GAA games

posted 6 Nov 2013, 16:06 by Carrick Swans

The following article is taken from: http://www.thescore.ie/minor-proposals-liam-oneill-890711-Apr2013/

What are your thoughts on it? Should Minors be allowed play Senior?


MINOR FOOTBALL AND hurling may become an Under-17 competition under “revolutionary” new proposals being considered by the GAA.

Plans to revamp the minor grade come as part of continued efforts to protect the game’s rising stars from burnout at a young age.

GAA bosses are at present formulating a policy which would restrict players younger than 18 to their age-grade competition and prevent them from lining out for adult sides.

The move could also open the door for older players in local clubs to prolong their own playing career by a year or two if they wish, GAA President Liam O’Neill said yesterday.

“We’re trying to formulate a policy at the moment where minor would become U17 and then those U17s would not play adult games,” O’Neill said. “You could have minor and adult league games then going on at the same time.

“It would really streamline fixtures a lot. U21 becoming U20 wouldn’t do enough to justify breaking that tie we have. It’s there since 1965 and it’s working well. I wouldn’t like to be the one to change it.”

The decision is likely to be made before 2014, O’Neill added, and he downplayed concerns that it might leave rural junior clubs under pressure to field a side.

“People will throw up the argument that it could affect junior clubs but that’s not the case. I come from one of the smallest junior clubs in the country. It would ensure older players stay on an extra year.

I’ve seen more young players suffer from playing adult too early than I’ve seen older fellas having to play an extra year. What we have to think is that the Games Development section – who are formulating this thinking – is that we’ll be putting the child first. His development is better if you keep them playing at their own age group.

I think that was borne out by the best minor player of the last couple of years being Cormac Costello who was nursed along and never played an adult game. The Dublin system is big enough to be able to do that. There’s evidence that keeping boys at their own age group works.

“I’m more concerned about getting the debate right for the individual player,” he added. “It could revolutionise fixture making big time.”