Croke Park's decision to introduce Go-Games and end competitive games for U-12s was criticised by outgoing Coiste na nOg officers in their reports to the County Board Convention last Sunday, as both Chairman Dan Gallogly and Secretary Attracta O'Reilly called for a more concerted effort on the coaching front for Leitrim players.
In his report, outgoing chairman Dan Gallogly wrote "Another matter of great concern to me is the decision to end the Under 12 Championship and replace it with a series of blitzes. I fail to understand the reasoning behind this decision and I wonder were members and delegates who saw this idea through really conscious of what the ordinary GAA members think.
"To me it is patently obvious that the more ambitious Under 12 players much prefer the competitive element of our games and I fear that these more talented youngsters will switch to other codes like Rugby and Soccer in order to have competition – and remember if they do, then we will very easily lose them to the Association.
"There is much whinging in the GAA about very talented adult players being lured to Australia; I feel that the loss of Under 12 players to our clubs would be a much greater disaster. Anyone who attended our Under 12 Championship Finals of 2010 would be surely inclined to agree."
In her report, Attracta O'Reilly commented that clubs did not take the same approach to the Go-Games Bltizes as they did the championship - "The U12 blitz went well, but it appears that it was not taken seriously, in comparison to the U12 championship which saw some great games.
"It's a pity that the powers that be don't sit and watch some of these U12 games and maybe they might have a re-think about doing away with competitive football for these youngsters.
"It seems at that age that they enjoy and want to play competitive football, rather than participate in a blitz - and there is always the option for them to get competitive games in other sports, which would be a huge loss to football in Leitrim."
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