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'I wish the Camogie Association and LGFA would realise we want the best for both sets of players'

Dual player fixture clashes continue to impact players in both codes.

The Camogie Association has moved the clash of Cork and Galway to avoid a fixture clash.
The Camogie Association has moved the clash of Cork and Galway to avoid a fixture clash.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER WEXFORD CAMOGIE star Ursula Jacob says the Camogie Association and Ladies Gaelic Football Association [LGFA] must have a stronger working relationship to avoid dual player fixture problems.

The most recent controversy affects the Cork senior camogie and Ladies Football teams. Both outfits were due to play All-Ireland championship games on Saturday 7 November with five dual players being affected by the fixture clash.

During the time that this story was developing, Cork’s Laura Treacy said that the camogie panel would consider going on strike over the issue.

The Camogie Association has since confirmed that the Group 1 game between Cork and Galway has now been pushed back to Sunday 8 November. There is still a tight 24-hour turnaround but the move alleviates some of the pressure on Cork’s dual players.

Jacob spoke about the ongoing issue of dual player fixture clashes to the media on Thursday, just hours before the details of the re-fixture were announced.

 It’s very, very frustrating as a former player to see some of this still going on. I think it was very disappointing what happened last week because we want the best players playing.

“I’d like it if we built on a great year last year. It really should be about some of the brilliant games we have.”

ursula-jacob Four-time All-Ireland winner Ursula Jacob in action for Wexford. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

These fixture clashes were compounded by last weekend’s camogie congress, where a motion that aims to facilitate dual players was defeated. 76% of delegates voted against adopting Rule 2.8 which was put forward by Dublin.

A version of this proposal was also defeated at the Ladies Gaelic Football Association’s Congress in March.

I just wish that the Camogie Association and the LGFA would sit down and realise that we want the best for both sets of players and we have to find a balance,” says Jacob.

“It’s now that these fixtures need to be sorted and amended.

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“These girls want to concentrate and focus on preparing and training at a high level – they don’t want the stress of having to deal with striking or dealing with media interest on this.

Their focus should be on the playing, and there’s enough challenges in the current environment in relation to Covid-19, restrictions and protocol.

“You want to take it out of the players’ hands as much as possible, you want the county boards and the two organisations to come together and deal with the logistics and facilitating the dual players.”

The trial playing rules, which were initially implemented for this year’s National League competitions, will remain in place for the championship.

From a viewer’s perspective, Jacob says that these rules were a success during the league and is delighted to see them come into effect again when the championship gets underway.

“It’s a really positive move because it allows the flow to the game. The last number of years there was a lot of frustration around the rules, it was a very stop-start affair, particularly around some of the All-Ireland finals.

“When these games are being televised, you want the best camogie players being able to showcase their skills without constantly stop-starting the game. It worked well in any of the league games I saw earlier this year and it’s important to implement it in the upcoming championship.

“I’m sure they might have to tweak some of it, but I just think it’s very positive overall that we’re moving forward and listening to the players. This is what they’re wanting from the game as well.”

Ursula Jacob was speaking at the launch of RTÉ’s GAA championship coverage.

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