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'It's pointless' - Galway and Roscommon set for two pre-season meetings in 4 weeks

Damien Comer can’t understand why the repeat fixtures are not avoided.

Damien Comer at today's 2018 Allianz football league launch in Croke Park.
Damien Comer at today's 2018 Allianz football league launch in Croke Park.
Image: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

IT’S A FIXTURE schedule that does not add up.

Yet at a time when the amount of games facing GAA players in a condensed period is being heavily debated, the footballers of Galway and Roscommon are set to face each other twice in the space of four weeks in the pre-season FBD League competition.

The counties are set to meet next Sunday afternoon in Tuam Stadium in their final round-robin game but it is a dead rubber tie as both have already qualified for the final on 18 February.

Rather than doubling up the fixtures to make this Sunday’s tie the final, the sides managed by Kevin Walsh and Kevin McStay have been instructed to meet each other on the two dates in order to protect the integrity of the competition.

The same dilemma faced the Munster Council last weekend with closing round-robin games involving the teams who had already booked their spots in the finals.

Thus it was decided that the finals would be brought forward a week as the footballers of Cork and Clare met in the final of the McGrath Cup on Saturday afternoon while the hurlers of Limerick and Clare clashed in the final of Co-Op Superstores Munster hurling league on Sunday.

Galway forward Damien Comer is one of the players affected. Aside from the pre-season games, the NUI Galway student faces a busy schedule between now and the end of February:

  • 24 January: NUIG v IT Sligo – Sigerson Cup
  • 28 January: Galway v Tyrone – Division 1 FL
  • 4 February: Donegal v Galway – Division 1 FL
  • 11 February: Galway v Mayo - Division 1 FL
  • 25 February: Kerry v Galway - Division 1 FL

If NUI Galway progress in the Sigerson Cup, Comer will have more games to contend with and a potential free weekend on 17/18 February – when the FBD League final is pencilled in for – would appeal to him.

Niall Mcinnerney with Damien Comer Galway have met Roscommon in the last two Connacht senior football finals. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“We’re on about compacting games, it’s just an extra game, it’s pointless,” said Comer.

“I think it should all be played off this Sunday and give players a chance to take a weekend off or something, give a chance for recovery in that weekend off during the league.

“Hopefully they’ll come to a compromise. It makes sense. I don’t know which party isn’t agreeing to it.

“The fact that it’s two games, it’s more people coming to the games, it generates more gate money, that could be the reason or whatever. I think just for player welfare it makes sense to play it all on Sunday.

“They doubled it up (in Munster). It makes sense. Hopefully they’ll come to an agreement by Sunday.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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