Former Leitrim captain Emlyn Mulligan has called for Sunday's postponed Allianz NFL Division 4 clash with Waterford to be refixed for a neutral venue under lights midweek rather than on Monday afternoon in the Munster county.
Croke Park have confirmed that Monday's refixed Leitrim v Waterford Allianz NFL Division 4 clash will go ahead as planned at 2 pm in Ardmore on the Bank Holiday Monday.The game had been called off on Sunday morning due to unplayable pitch but after a pitch inspection this evening, the refixed game was given the go-ahead, causing quite a few complications for players from both counties.
Former Leitrim captain Emlyn Mulligan, who had hoped to make his return against Waterford on Sunday, tweeted his displeasure at the late cancellation, approximately 8.30 on Sunday morning, and suggested that Waterford forefit home venue and play the game midweek at a neutral venue.
On the road since half 6 this morning. 2hrs down the road on way to Waterford got word game was off. Grand. 2hr drive home, get word game may be on tomorrow at 2pm, same venue(9 hr round trip) Seriously!We just do what we’re told #joke— Emlyn Mulligan (@emlynmulligan) March 18, 2018
The issue is that players don’t have a say. I’m working tomorrow. We’re amateurs at the end of the day and have lives outside football...— Emlyn Mulligan (@emlynmulligan) March 18, 2018
Solution isn’t tomorrow. Wednesday night under lights half way?play it in Carrick which has no snow. They knew yesterday snow was coming. Some of us have work tomorrow too...— Emlyn Mulligan (@emlynmulligan) March 18, 2018
Mulligan's tweet had a mixed response with some asking what the Waterford County Board could have done differently while many supported his stance.
Any suggestions or solutions to this problem ?— david morrissey (@dmorr80) March 18, 2018
Neutral venues halfway?
Let Met Éireann call off games?
Home games only?
Put a roof over the country ?
And if you did have a say, what's your solution? There's very little, if anything, that could have been done in this case. By your timeline, the game was called off at 8.30am.— Brian Lord (@GoodLord2) March 18, 2018
Well said Emlyn. Complete farce. Players deserve at least 3-5 days notice for a refixture. It’s called preparation— Jimmy Stenson (@stensonjimmy) March 18, 2018
This is pretty shocking for all the players who will have to spend another night doing nothing Down in Waterford https://t.co/ylzi79sbSJ— Fintan Cox (@FintanCox) March 18, 2018
Leitrim trainer Michael Moyles weighed in on the debate
Stupid comment, Weds night at least gives players 2 days notice to give to their employees if they need to change work to play a game, everything is sorted (work, family) around a master fixture list, 24 hour notice is not good enough, @gaelicplayers silence is deafing at times— Michael Moyles (@mmoyles09) March 18, 2018
Many responses on Twitter found it amazing that Leitrim were travelling down to Waterford on the day of the match but the Leitrim team actually stayed in a Dublin Hotel on Saturday night before intending to make the journey down the motorway on Sunday morning.
With the decision to leave April over as a club only month, the pressure is on the GAA to ensure that all County games are played in time and with Leitrim playing in New York at the beginning of May, that compresses the time available for club games next Monday, leading to even greater pressure on the fixture list.
Ironically, Leitrim also called off a game at late notice this year with the FBD Connacht League clash in Ballinamore in January against Sligo only been called off an hour before the scheduled throw-in time, with both teams already at the venue. That game was refixed for Cloone on a Wednesday evening but was then called off earlier that day and moved to the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan.