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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Dan Sheridan/INPHO James McCarthy would like to see changes to the GAA calendar.
# Fixture congestion
'Players need more rest' - Dublin's James McCarthy on the GAA calendar
McCarthy expressed his frustration with the length of the football season.

WITH FIXTURE SCHEDULING and the length of the club and inter-county seasons the topics du jour in the GAA, it’s no surprise that more and more players are voicing opinions on the subjects.

After all, it is their opinions that should carry the most weight.

With Ballymun Kickhams’ season finishing earlier than he would have hoped, Dublin defender James McCarthy has enjoyed some unexpected downtime this year. The same cannot be said for some of his inter-county team-mates, something that frustrates McCarthy.

“There’s no structure to it. You’re just going from one competition to the next. You do have time off but it’s a bit of a mess. You’d just like to know you’ve a set time off like six weeks off. There is surely a way to tidy the thing up. They have to do it.”

If that means altering the structure of the All-Ireland senior football championship to the extent of moving to a Champions League style set-up, McCarthy says fans, players and administrators should not be afraid of change.

“They’ve been talking about the Champions League. It’s definitely something to look at.

“Look at all the other sports like Aussie Rules, football, I think we have to try and move with the times and learn from these and not be so old or ancient. Just move with them”

It should come as no surprise that McCarthy is pushing for change. The 2014 Allstar believes his recent injury woes may well be caused by fixture congestion in the GAA.

“I’m beginning to think it is. I haven’t had much time off to be honest and just going for long seasons and playing a lot of games. It must be, it has to be, just the volumes I guess it eventually gets you.

“We have lads who have more wear and tear injuries than breaking bones or things snapping like that. It definitely is a factor particularly those years at 20 or 21 when you’re playing 21, senior, club, college. It just comes.

“In the way, I’m delighted I can just concentrate on the one team now.”

James McCarthy was speaking at the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland headquarters in Templeogue in Dublin yesterday where it was announced that AIG would be the ‘Official Insurance Partner’ of CBAI.

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