Coiste Bainistíochta CLG Loch Garman
9 Deireadh Fómhair 2017, Ferrycarrig Hotel
Croke Park has asked all counties to nominate attendees for a 2-day training workshop on the GAA’s anti-doping strategy, taking place on 17-18 October in Dublin. A claim for medical expenses arising from an injury incurred while on duty with a county team was received and discussed. It was noted that the contract for supply of electricity at the Centre of Excellence in Ferns was up and it was agreed that a new contract would be signed with the supplier offering best value for money. Recent correspondence from Croke Park regarding data protection was also noted.
The logistics and other arrangements for forthcoming county finals were discussed. The Jubilee Teams to be honoured this year (celebrating achievements from 1992) will be Buffers Alley in hurling and the All-Ireland winning Wexford junior football team. The arrangement for those teams were agreed and it was noted in particular that a portion of the playing field in Wexford Park would be cordoned off when the jubilee teams are being presented at halftime of the respective county finals.
Senior Football Manager
The football selection committee has recommended Paul McLoughlin for nomination as senior football manager. This committee comprised of the Cathaoirleach, the Leas-Chathaoirleach, the Rúnaí, Seamus Hughes from the Football Review Committee and Michael Wallace representing the County Board. Only one club put forward a name for consideration but, notwithstanding that, there was a lot of interest in the post and a longlist of 8 – 10 candidates was examined. Three candidates were invited for interview and it was the selection committee’s opinion that Paul had the clearest long-term strategy for development of the senior team and the deepest knowledge of Wexford football. He has a good backroom team in place, the details of which will be announced on completion of the Wexford football championship, and he has been recommended for a 3-year term.
Update on Coaches / Squads
While the matter of senior managers is settled, it was agreed that the appointment of management teams for all the other teams/squads is a priority for the coming weeks. Expressions of interest have been received for certain of the underage teams and it was agreed that every effort should be put into getting the right people to work with management teams.
Recent inaccurate media reports regarding the under 16 football squad’s participation in the Fr. Manning tournament was noted with disappointment. Contrary to the reasons quoted in a recent article, the actual reasons for that squad’s non-participation in the event was the fact that it would have clashed with 18 knockout club fixtures in the county at under 16 and minor level, as well as with school matches. In addition, it was noted that Wexford had withdrawn from the tournament in 2016 and it was therefore not on the schedule for our under 16 footballers this year.
Factually incorrect figures were quoted in the article where it was suggested that budgets had been cut in 2017, with just €6,500 spent on the U16 football squad, and that this was a factor in the decision not to compete. The facts however are that €92,000 has been spent to date on underage squads in both codes which is slightly in excess of the budgeted figure of €88,300 and significantly ahead of last year’s spend of €75,000. As for the U16 football squad, €9,520 has been spent on it in 2017.
The examination of the alleged incident at the under 14 Tony Forristal hurling tournament has been correctly proceeded with by the Coiste Bainistíochta and has culminated in two appearances in Croke Park in recent weeks before its disciplinary committee. It is expected that a final decision in the matter will be reached in the coming weeks.
A Leinster Council meeting on Thursday 12 October will discuss the 2018 Leinster championships. Among the issues to be discussed will be the junior football championship which, at the moment, has six confirmed entrants (Cavan, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Meath and Wicklow). Wexford now cannot pick players from Club senior teams as we are competing in Division 3 of the National League and have more than 15 Intermediate & Junior clubs. It was recalled that it has proved logistically difficult in the past few years to organise a junior county team and, taking this restriction into account, it was noted that the funds involved could be better directed towards a senior development squad.
With regard to the intermediate hurling competition, only Wexford, Kilkenny and Cork participated in 2017 and we are awaiting news from Croke Park as to whether this competition will be staged in 2018.
A number of options for the Under 20 football championship are up for discussion and it is currently scheduled to take place between June – August. Arrangements for the under 21 hurling (as it stands) are also for discussion, including how and whether to have a seeded draw for the semi-finals. The Leinster final in this grade is provisionally scheduled for 4 July.
The O’Byrne Cup is to remain unchanged and there is a proposal to make the Walsh Cup a knockout.
Minor hurling and football, as well as proposals for the Celtic Challenge, will also be up for discussion.
New hurling structures
The new senior hurling structures introduced at Special Congress provide for a 5-team round robin in Leinster with the top two teams qualifying for the Leinster Final. The winners proceed directly to the All-Ireland semi-finals, the losers go to the quarter-final and the 3rd placed team will compete in an additional preliminary round with the 3rd placed team in Munster and the qualifier from the 2nd tier competition.
These new structures and compressed calendar present scheduling challenges for dual counties.
It was agreed that Coiste Bainistíochta should look at how refereeing can be supported and encouraged as it’s a critical underpinning of our games. As a first step in this process, clubs will be written to and asked to put it on their Committee agendas and to revert with ideas and suggestions. Among the issues to be looked at are how to encourage new recruits to refereeing and how to improve sideline behaviour and respect for officials.
Our online content, including match footage, was discussed and it was noted that this is a very effective way of connecting to supporters and building awareness of our games. It was also noted that rigorous and consistent editing of the content is important in order to maintain a good quality control.
It was agreed that Clubs’ adult and Coiste representatives, in addition to County Board delegates, should be invited to the next County Board meeting on Tuesday 24 October as a number of important motions around how we structure our games will be up for discussion.