Tuesday 21st March 2017, Ferrycarrig Hotel
Matters arising from Minutes of previous County Board & Management meetings
Discussions are ongoing with Club Wexford regarding the standardisation of passes for Wexford Park and an update on this will be given at the next meeting of the County Board. It is now confirmed that Dermot Earley, CEO of the Gaelic Players’ Association, will attend the County Board meeting of 25 April to outline the work and aims of the GPA and Club Secretaries and Chairpersons will be invited to attend at this meeting also.
Wexford Supporters Club update
Des Croke outlined the Club’s planned activities for the year and said that a key aim is to increase the number of members as the 350 members in 2016 is significantly lower than many other counties. The cost of membership is €20 per individual or €40 for a family and the monies raised from this and from its fundraising activities goes to support Wexford teams across all codes. Members are entered in a draw with prizes and they can also access discounts from a number of businesses around the county. The key activities planned by the Club in 2017 are (i) a Golf Classic in Wexford Golf Club on Friday 5 May (€200/team, with meal included) (ii) a Sports Forum towards the end of April: both senior managers will participate as well as speakers from other sports (iii) Dog-racing night in Enniscorthy, probably on 6 July (iv) the annual Awards Night, sponsored by Glen Fuels, probably in November.
Update on Motions passed at Convention
An update was provided on the motions proposed by Davidstown / Courtnacuddy and passed at County Convention in 2016. The request that the clock in Wexford Park be used for all matches will be implemented once the clock is repaired. An update to the PA system is on the “to do” list but will only take place when the works to the Ferns Centre of Excellence and the upgrading to the Wexford Park press box is completed. As for the motion regarding their being the correct complement of umpires / linesmen at championship matches it was agreed that clubs should report back to the County Board after the first round of championship matches as to whether referees were accompanied by the correct complement of supporting officials. This will allow for a more thorough examination of the issue.
Update on fixtures
The setting of fixtures is particularly challenging this year with the potential of four consecutive weeks of intercounty action in May due to the current success of the senior teams. However, in order to provide as much certainty as possible, it is intended to give an indication at each County Board meeting of the likely fixture dates in the month ahead. A fixtures review committee has been established to look at proposals for 2018 and a questionnaire will be sent to all Clubs seeking views. It is also intended to organise district-based workshops before November and Clubs are encouraged to identify people who might have ideas and would wish to participate in this process. A proposal by the CCCC to swap rounds 1 and 3 in the junior football championship to accommodate a scheduling issue with second teams was approved. The issue arises because there are now only 5 teams in one of the groups in the junior football championship which means that one of the teams has a bye in the first round which will have a knock-on effect on the junior A & junior B grades.
Key potential national league dates in the national leagues, which need to be taken into account in setting our fixtures, are as follows:
- April 1 – hurling quarter final
- April 8 – Division 4 football final
- April 16 – hurling semi-final
- April 23 – hurling final
If the hurlers lose their quarter-final it should be possible to play round 1 of the football championship on Sunday 9 April and round 2 on the weekend of 15-16 April (while taking account of our minor hurlers playing on Saturday 15 April and our minor footballers playing on Monday 17 April). Hurling round 1 would take place on the weekend of 29-30 April with round 2 on 6-7 May. However, should the hurlers reach the league semi-final, round 1 of the football would take place on the weekend of 22-23 April, round 2 on the weekend 29-30 April and round 1 hurling would be on the weekend of 6-7 May. Finally, were the hurlers to reach the national league final, we would play round 1 football on the weekend of 29-30 April and round 1 hurling on the weekend of 6-7 May.
Stewarding in Wexford Park
There has been a disappointing response thus far to the appeal to clubs for additional volunteer stewards with only about one third responding. With at least two potentially large intercounty fixtures to be held in Wexford Park in June it’s vital that a full complement of approx. 150 stewards (so at least 3 from each club) be available. Clubs were asked as a matter of urgency to nominate volunteers who will be provided with basic training at a workshop in the coming weeks. It was also noted that if our senior footballers qualify to host Dublin provision will have to be made to accommodate up to 3,000 Dublin season ticketholders in Wexford Park. It is very important therefore to have a full complement of stewards to supervise this match, should it come to pass, and hopefully also a home hurling championship match against Kilkenny.
Ratification of Under 21 Teams and isolated players
The following combination teams at under 21 level were approved:
- Dunbrody Gaels (Horeswood and St. James)
- Forth and Bargy Gaels (St. Mary’s Rosslare and St. Fintans)
- St John’s Gaels (Bannow-Ballymitty and Clongeen)
Also ratified to transfer to another club, for one year only under Rule 6.8(2) of the Treoir Oifigiúil were a number of under 21 players under the “isolated player” rule.
Model County Draw
The tickets for the draw should be ready for distribution to clubs by Friday 24 March and the three monthly draws will take place on 26 April, 21 May and 28 June. The draw will feature 50 prizes, including 3 cars, one for each month. Our senior managers have recorded voiceovers for use in the advertising campaign on South East Radio.
The ongoing success of the senior intercounty teams was recognised and St. Peter’s College was wished the best of luck in the All-Ireland post-primary schools football semi-final on Wednesday 22 March. It was noted that if they are successful, the final will take place in Croke Park on 1 April which could necessitate a request to move to 2 April the quarter final of the Allianz senior hurling league which is also the same day as the footballers play their final Allianz League game away to Carlow.
The challenge of managing minor players’ schedules to avoid burnout was discussed and concerns were raised about the training and playing schedule imposed on some players in the grade. Better coordination between county squads and clubs was highlighted as a key issue. The Chairman will coordinate a meeting in the coming days with the minor managers to address problems that have arisen over the past month and, in the longer term, the fixtures review committee has a specific remit to look at fixtures scheduling from under 14 all the way to adult so it is hoped that an improved calendar can be developed.
Finally, it was noted that Club Development training will take place on Wednesday 5 April in the Riverside Park Hotel in Enniscorthy, beginning at 7.30pm. Club Chairpersons, Secretaries, Treasurers and PROs should attend this training.