Sport

Cahill frustrated at decision to remove intercounty games from "elite" status

Waterford hurling boss Liam Cahill says he is disappointed with the government decision to no longer include intercounty games in the bracket of elite sports.
Yesterday, the GAA announced that having held talks with government, they would not be extending the level 5 exemption to Gaelic games for the 2021 season.
Cahill is worried about where and when the Championship can be played with this latest change taken into account.
“The concern here is the elite status bracket. I for one wasn’t aware that had been taken away. It throws the whole championship and the whole structure of the championship up in the air”
“It’s a real headache for the GAA now. I know their hands are tied in a lot of respects because they are governed by the health authorities and what they say, but it’s going to take a lot of manoeuvring to get a structured championship in place”
2021 was set to be the year when there was a clearly defined block for club games to take place where intercounty games would not interfere. The goal had been set to have all intercounty activity wrapped up by July 31st, leaving the remaining summer weather over to club games.
Cahill says that it’s doesn’t look possible now.
“It really looks like its going to be well in to the summer before we get back to the fields of play and if that’s the case it all depends what level of lockdown we’re at whether we can go with club or county first”
Considering that this time last year, Cahill was facing a similar situation with his Championship term due to start, only for the first national lockdown to be installed – with all sport put on indefinite hiatus – the Deise boss says its tough to be back at square one almost a year later.
“Déjà vu really. It’s really frustrating from my point of view. I’m going in to my second year in the job now here in Waterford and really I’ve only got a consistent 10 or 12 weeks to have worked with the players.”
“If you really look at it from last September up to the All-Ireland was the only time I got to work with these players. So its really, really frustrating”
With the decision made late last night and now widely discussed this morning, the stance of both the GAA and government is that activity will be held off until at least April 4th.
Having spent the latter half of 2021 preparing his team for the championship, one could understand county managers like Cahill assuming that 2021 would continue where 2020 left off.
“The whole inconsistency around where we’re going in an overall perspective, leaving GAA and sport aside, is really frustrating to people.”
“I think there has to be some sort of pathway or a distinctive way of trying to work our way through this very very soon”.
“We’re really going to have to depend on our government to step up to the mark really, because at the moment they’ve really been found wanting in their inconsistency and what information they’re relaying to people”
 
 

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