Cordal GAA Club executive committee and senior team management have agreed a joint decision to stand by one of their star players on one of the biggest events of his footballing life.
Philip O’Connor will captain the Kerry Junior Football team tomorrow afternoon in Portlaoise as they attempt to win the All-Ireland title in a final against Galway – and there’s a 5pm throw-in.
The crux of the issue is that the Cordal senior team, which Philip O’Connor also captains, was due to play an away game against Castlegregory in a county league fixture also tomorrow at 7:30pm.
Club members claim that they have made up to 40 phone calls in an effort to avoid having to grant a walk-over to the West Kerry side and they say it stretches credibility that their efforts to find a solution have failed.
In the heel of the hunt, club management, supporters and players decided to travel to Portlaoise to support their star player on his big day.
In doing so they have also put the fixtures committee of the Kerry GAA system on the spot and in a very poor light indeed.
If this happened in Eugie Meara’s day there would be a song in it.
The spirit of The Brave Boys of Cordal is alive and well.
THE STATEMENT ISSUED ON THE CORDAL GAA CLUB FACEBOOK PAGE IS AS FOLLOWS:
As a Club Executive and Management of the Senior Team we have come to a decision that we will unfortunately not be able to fulfill our County League game against Castlegregory on this Saturday evening @ 7:30 in Castlegregory.
The reason we cannot fulfill the fixture is simple enough as our Club cannot be in TWO PLACES at the same time as we are all heading up to Portlaoise to support the Kerry Junior Team who play Galway in the All Ireland Final and who will be led out by our own Cordal team captain who is also Kerry Junior team Captain Philip O’Connor.
It’s a unique occasion for a Club like ours to have a player Captaining a Kerry Team in an All Ireland Final – (Thanks to Kilcummin Club for the Captaincy)
As a Club we don’t think it right to be asked to play a County League game the same time. After communicating with the Co Board Cordal offered our opponents to play the game this Friday evening 19th or Saturday morning at a time that would suit them or a postponement and play it at any other date of their choice but unfortunately all were declined.
After exhausting all avenues Cordal are regrettably left with no alternative only to concede a walk over which we feel is very wrong as we support the Green & Gold of Kerry as Kerry people are encouraged to do, but it beggars belief to fix a full round of the Co League for this weekend knowing in advance that Kerry Seniors would be involved in the Super 8s and that the All Ireland Junior Football Final had been pencilled in for this weekend also.
From our point the simple option would have been to have this Friday evening 19th as a ‘default date’ for Co League games involving all Club Teams who have players on the Kerry Junior panel.
This would have solved Cordal making 40 phone calls this week and still having to now give a walk over.
Finally can everybody get behind the Kerry Junior Team and let’s hope that Philip can bring the Trophy home to The Kingdom.
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