Secretary calls on clubs to look at bigger picture

Another busy year that included high, lows and a few controversies is recalled by Leitrim GAA County Board Secretary Diarmuid Sweeney in a comprehensive report ahead of next Sunday’s Convention in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon (2.00 start).

Another busy year that included high, lows and a few controversies is recalled by Leitrim GAA County Board Secretary Diarmuid Sweeney in a comprehensive report ahead of next Sunday’s Convention in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon (2.00 start).

In an address that ranged from the highs of Markievicz Park last Mayo to the disappointment of Leitrim’s championship exits at the hands of Roscommon and Down, Diarmuid also touched on the controversy over the dropping of players from the County Senior team panel and what he termed as “open and frank discussions” with the Hurling Board.

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing the GAA in Leitrim in the coming years is increasing emigration and Diarmuid envisages a drop in teams affiliating for the coming year - “Most weekends there is a party in some one club or another. Our players are emigrating, mostly due to work opportunities but increasingly also because most of their friends have left.

“Earlier this year I awaited receipt of affiliation documents, contrary to anecdotal comment adult team numbers remained as were. One rural club dropped its second team while one urban club increased it number of teams from three to four; however I envisage a reduction in teams affiliated for 2012.”

However, the thorny subject of amalgamations at underage level has not escaped Diarmuid’s notice and he has promised a sterner examination of amalgamations into the future - “While emigration is undoubtedly having a negative impact in our traditional club unit the proliferation of club/team amalgamation at underage level is astonishing. Clubs can not seriously propose to survive if they continue to transfer their youth players to the neighbouring club. I expect a much closer scrutiny of amalgamation and inter club transfer applications in the year ahead by our governing committee.”

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.