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'Until this comes under one umbrella it will never really work' - Bohan

Dublin ladies boss Mick Bohan has reiterated his call for a union between the male and female codes.

Dublin manager Mick Bohan.
Dublin manager Mick Bohan.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

DUBLIN LADIES manager Mick Bohan has reiterated his call for women’s football, camogie and the GAA to come under the one umbrella.

Bohan’s side, who delivered their third All-Ireland in succession last September, face Mayo in the Lidl Ladies National League on Saturday evening in Castlebar as part of a double-header with their male counterparts.

They’ll also return to Croke Park on 9 February, taking on Cork as a curtain raiser before the Rebels and Down men’s teams play in the Allianz Football League.

But Bohan, speaking at the launch of the 2020 Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup,  says more needs to be done if the women’s game is to continue growing.

“They’re the two big games,” he said. “I’ve said this as regards the game, I still believe that until this comes under one umbrella it will never really work.

“Because the minute you take your eye off officials for those double-headers and they’re not in the public glare, they’ll go back to doing what suits them best.

“If we’re serious about trying to promote the game, the double-headers are the only way forward. Even going looking for county grounds for a match at the weekend is still an issue.”

Bohan has other concerns, including the length of the inter-county season.

No Leinster championship will take place this season following Westmeath’s relegation from senior ranks and Meath’s defeat in the All-Ireland intermediate decider.

It means Dublin will have a lengthy gap between the conclusion of the league and the start of the All-Ireland series in July.

“Huge,” he agreed. “If we were to compete in a league final, which is obviously going to be a big ask, but if we were to compete in a league final, the first round of the championship for us is 12 weeks later. It’s like a whole new season.

“We’ve to meet with the clubs in the next week or two to just tidy it up. We’re hoping for quite a substantial amount of the club championship to be played during that period of time because that would make sense.

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2020-gourmet-food-parlour-hec-ladies-football-championships-launch The 2020 Gourmet Food Parlour O'Connor Cup launch took place yesterday in Santry. Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

“But it’s still going to be difficult. When you lose a group of players, if you take a period of eight or ten weeks and come back into competition, they’re a different team. They’re not playing the way they played when they left you.

“I’m saying this again, I think the intercounty season is too long. It’s not just for girls, for lads as well. The intercounty season is too long. There should be time allocated for clubs, and it just shouldn’t be at the end of the season.

“If you look at us last year, we had girls who played championship games on the Wednesday and the Sunday after the All-Ireland final. How disrespectful is that to your club?” 

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Kevin O'Brien

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