Wexford GAA Management Committee
Meeting 10/04/2017, Whites Hotel
Model County Draw
There has been a positive reaction to the radio advertisements for the draw and it was noted that some clubs have sought more tickets. A request from St. Martin’s to defer the first draw, currently scheduled for 26 April, to allow more time for sales was considered and it was agreed that such a deferral would be recommended to the Committee overseeing the Draw. It was also noted that the date currently scheduled for the second draw, ZZ May, would need to be changed to avoid a clash with junior football.
Supporters’ clubs, Sponsorship
The Chairman welcomed Mícheál Mahon to the Management Committee (as a Chairman’s nominee). He will coordinate engagement with the supporters’ clubs going forward. It was noted that both the Wexford Supporters’ Club and the Dublin-based Supporters’ Club were planning sports forum events and these would need to be coordinated; a jointly-organised Race Night is also on the cards. Both senior managers will enter teams in the golf classic being planned by the Wexford Supporters’ Club on 5 May in Wexford Golf Club. It was noted that the Club Wexford “offer” for 2018 has been confirmed now as being 2 season tickets, a Model County Draw ticket and a jacket.
Work continues on the Wexford Park signage committee and Tom Galway has agreed to step in as chairman in the interim as Sheamus Howlin has had to step down due to ill health. The committee wishes Sheamus all the best in his recovery.
More than 440 children are attending the Easter Camps that have started today. Following on from the concerns raised by clubs at the most recent County Board meeting regarding the club/county balance at youth level and possible overuse of our talented young players, it has been decided to review the matter. As a first step, it has been agreed that all under 14 squad activities (including under 13 academy) will cease from 21 May until after the Féile so as to give clubs the best chance to prepare for the event. To further assist in this regard, a blitz will be held on Saturday 27 May for all the Wexford Féile teams which should give them a chance to gauge where they’re at in terms of preparation.
The minor hurlers will be in action in Kilkenny on Saturday 15 April, the minor footballers will play Offaly in Bellefield on Monday 17 April and the under 17 will host Kilkenny in Taghmon on Wednesday 19 April. Crossover between minor and under 17 squads was discussed and it was agreed that if an under 17 player has not been listed in the minor panel of 24 then he will be eligible for selection in the subsequent under 17 match.
Both senior managers have been met with and it has been agreed that if the senior hurlers lose the league semi-final on Sunday 16 April then the championship will start on the weekend of 22-23 April. The intercounty footballers are now back with their clubs after the NFL final in Croke Park although short sessions with county players will still be held on Wednesday nights in the short term. It has been agreed also that managers will release single players back to their clubs if there’s a risk of holding up intermediate or junior championships. It was noted that there has been a lot of engagement with the online survey regarding fixtures and it is hoped that this will provide good feedback to the fixtures review committee.
The management committee recorded its sympathies to John Nolan, minor football manager, on the sad passing of his mother.
Progress continues on the fit-out upstairs in the Ferns Centre of Excellence with the current focus on finalisation of the fire safety plan. As part of the preparation for Wexford’s hosting of the Féile, the Leinster GAA Health and Safety committee will visit all host club grounds in the the next few weeks, with a particular focus on multiple match venues. The possible felling of trees behind the town end goal in St. Patrick’s Park was discussed; residents have previously asked for this and it was agreed that further engagement would take place before a final decision is taken. Sanding in St. Patrick’s Park is due to take place tomorrow now that the necessary re-sodding has taken place. Some re-fencing will be required in Ferns. Finally, it was noted that the deadline for this year’s Leinster Council grants is 1 May.
The official launch of the south-east Féile will take place on Wednesday 17 May in the Dolmen Hotel, Carlow. School visits will happen from Tuesday to Thursday of that week and Uachtarán CLG will be visiting Wexford on Tuesday 16 May.
There is still an urgent need for additional stewards to manage the high attendance fixtures in Wexford Park during the summer. At the moment, between 20-30 additional volunteers have been nominated by clubs but perhaps an additional 50 volunteers are needed. It was noted that a full training course, over 2 nights probably, will be needed, not the shorter refresher course that had originally been envisaged.
Club Officer training was held on Wednesday 5 April in the Talbot Hotel and over 50 delegates from Clubs attended. There was very positive feedback from the event. A seminar for Health & Wellbeing officers was held in the Ferrycarrig Hotel on 29 March. Finally, it was noted that Wexford GAA is fully support of the “ASK” mental health awareness campaign that has recently been launched; a seminar for GAA Clubs has been organised to take place immediately after the management committee meeting, also in Whites Hotel.
Wexford GAA County Board
Meeting 25/04/2017, Riverside Hotel, Enniscorthy
Presentation by the Gaelic Players’ Association
Dermot Early, CEO of the GPA, gave a presentation about the GPA. He outlined the services it offers intercounty players, both current and past, and explained its management and governance structure as well as where it gets its funding and how it spends it. A range of topics, both local and national, were raised in the subsequent Q&A session. This was the first time the GPA had addressed a full County Board meeting and both the delegates and the GPA itself found it useful and informative.
Matters arising from Minutes of previous County Board & Management meetings, plus correspondence
The sourcing of replacement officials by nominated referees who are unable to officiate at matches was raised and there was a discussion as to whether the current system can be improved upon. The Chairman will discuss this with the Referees’ coordinator in order to agree a solution.
There will be an open night on Wednesday 3 May with both senior teams in the Halo Tiles Centre of Excellence in Ferns. Team training is from 7 – 7.45pm and the squads will be then be available for photos and chat afterwards. The Dublin branch of the Wexford Supporters Club will host a championship forum on Monday 8 May in the Stillorgan Talbot Hotel and admission is just €5. This Friday, 5 May, the Wexford supporters club golf classic takes place in Wexford Golf Club; the cost is €200 for a team of 4 (including meal) and all Clubs are asked to submit at least one team.
It was noted that 28 clubs have not yet provided any stewards to the Wexford Park stewarding pool. Clubs were reminded that all volunteer stewards will see the matches and that the training is straightforward, running for 3 hours on the evening of Friday 12 May and the same again on the morning of Saturday 13 May. The high quality and courtesy of stewards in Nowlan Park at the recent league knockout games was remarked upon.
Ratification of Premier U21 Hurling Grading
It was explained that CCC has proposed the grading based on the facts as they have them and from the starting point that the County Board agreed last year to have 16 teams in premier with the 8 winners of first round matches going to premier A and the losers going to the premier B competition. It was agreed that the CCC would be asked to consider a request from Bunclody to be assigned to a lower level.
Junior Football Manager
Neither Seamus McEneaney nor David Murphy were available to oversee the junior football team so the matter will be referred back to the Football Advisory Committee who will seek nominations. (The matter was subsequently re-examined and the senior football management has agreed to take on the junior role also.)
The Chairman confirmed that the capacity of Wexford Park is in excess of 20,000 and he said he hoped this matter would be accurately reported as there had been some incidents of ‘false facts’ incorrectly reported from previous County Board meetings.
In response to a request for an update on finance, the Chairman noted that there is an upcoming meeting of the finance committee and this matter will be on the agenda at the next County Board meeting. An update was sought regarding the status of the fire certificate in the Halo Tiles Centre of Excellence in Ferns and it was noted that the committee overseeing the works in Ferns is presently preparing a fire certificate application.
The issue of excessive playing demands on minor players was raised and it was agreed that a full report on this matter, drawing on the current work of the Fixtures Review Committee, would be presented to the September County Board meeting. Around 250 public submissions have been made in response to the Committee’s online survey and the overall aim is to have concrete fixture proposals ready in time for the 2017 County Convention.
There was a brief discussion about the decision not to seek a hearing in the case of the senior hurling manager’s suspension and a welcome was extended to Micheál Mahon who was attending his first County Board meeting as a member of the management committee (Chairman’s nominee). Other items noted included training for children’s officers on Tuesday 2 May in the Ferrycarrig Hotel, possible venues for future County Board meetings and the fact that the deadline for application for 2018 Leinster Council grants is 1 May (covering work to be undertaken between September 2017 and August 2018)