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'I'm not equipped for mindreading!' - Westmeath minor boss bites back

The ‘jerseygate’ saga rumbles on.

Updated at 08.45, Wednesday, 22 July

WESTMEATH GAA’S COUNTY Committee has responded to claims by their own minor hurling manager that his side were forced to withdraw from the All-Ireland minor B championship due to a lack of jerseys.

The bizarre reason was put forward by Johnny Greville for what he claimed was his team’s “withdrawal” from a competition that starts on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

A statement from Westmeath this evening seeks to clarify the situation, however, addressing the “inaccuracies” contained in what they term the “items discussed on Twitter”.

The committee says that Westmeath GAA did not enter a minor team in this year’s B championship, and that the question of them pulling out was therefore “disingenuous”.

The statement goes on to state that a set of jerseys did go missing after their Leinster minor semi-final, which Westmeath GAA deem “unacceptable”. There is also an underlining of the fact that Westmeath are “very pleased” with the progress made under the management of Johnny Greville.

The side made notable strides this year defeating Wexford in a Leinster quarter-final in May before exiting at the semi-final stage to Dublin in June.

At the moment the eight teams that will compete in the All-Ireland Minor B championship are Kildare, Kerry, Roscommon, Meath, Wicklow, Armagh, Down and Donegal.

Greville’s revelation yesterday prompted incredulity from several GAA figures in the county.

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The full Westmeath GAA statement reads as follows:

Westmeath GAA would like to take this opportunity to clarify matters as the items discussed on Twitter contain inaccuracies which require correction.Westmeath GAA are very pleased with the progress made by Westmeath Minor Hurlers this year under the stewardship of Johnny Greville who has brought a new dimension of professionalism to the preparation of the team.All of us were naturally disappointed that our team exited the Leinster Championship at the semi final stage but we do know that the base for progress is through the highest grade of championship proper.
To that extent, Westmeath GAA did not enter a Minor team in this years B Championship and this matter was discussed thoroughly through County Management Commitee and the decision communicated accordingly. Hence the question of us pulling out of a Championship that we did not enter is disingenuous and we are very disappointed with the manner in which this has arisen in the media through twitter today.

We appreciate that people become passionate about matters in which they believe strongly in but we do expect everyone to have their facts correct.

In relation to the matter of jerseys & appropriate gear for the Minor team and for all of our teams in both Hurling and Football, Westmeath GAA do like all our fellow County committees endeavour to fully support all the players who don our County Colours.

Certainly after the Leinster Minor Hurling Semi final, a set of Jerseys went missing which was unacceptable. There has to be pride in wearing ones colours and we expect all players who represent Westmeath to have the pride in them to retain their colours at all times.

However, Greville has now responded emphatically, insisting that Westmeath GAA’s decision not to enter a team in the All-Ireland Minor B championship was not ‘communicated accordingly’.

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Fintan O'Toole

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