Mid Board Secretary Sally Young (left) says lack of certainty is a big problem for GAA players.
Drom-Inch lady Sally Young will present a comprehensive report to AGM tomorrow evening in Clonmore.
The Mid Tipperary GAA Board convention takes place on Friday, December 7th in the Clonmore Hall at 8pm (preceded by mass for deceased members at 7.00pm in Tempelmore Church).
While there are no expected changes to the officers of the board, convention will be an opportunity for delegates to review the season and look forward to 2019.
Divisions are coming under more and more pressure in recent times as the county struggles with major fixture problems and this theme was picked up on by secretary Sally Young (Drom & Inch) who, in her report to the AGM, has pointed to the need for certainty with dates for games.
She writes: “2018 has been a very successful year for the Mid division winning ten championship plus two leagues titles along with being defeated in three other championship finals.
“In late 2016, following the expiry of the original Tipperary Strategic Plan (Premier Plan) the county chairman requested that a follow up plan to 2020 be put in place. Following responses received from the online survey, County CCC members (meetings) and responses from County Board members a presentation was made to County Board in April 2017.
“It became clear that a major issue was the uncertainty of the club championship schedule and a lack of regular games at adult level. 'Certainty' was definitely the big word that came out of that survey.
“They say that there are two things certain in life and that’s taxes and death. And, at the end of 2018 we definitely can’t add certainty for GAA players to that. The only certainty for senior club players in 2018 was that they wouldn’t be playing the four weekends that Tipperary were involved in inter-county fixtures (between May 20th and June 10th). To achieve certainty for players you would need to put a roof over Ireland and be able to predict the outcome of games, some thing that is impossible for our fixture planners.
“Some of the challenges faced this year for example: who would have predicted that Tipperary would be out of the race for Liam in June? Who would have predicted that snow would affect our games in March/April? Teams withdrawing from championships? Weather - too wet - too stormy - too warm - playing surface too hard.”
The secretary goes on to praise Thurles Sarsfields and Loughmore-Castleiney for their efforts in the Mid Tipperary senior hurling final replay, despite having been out of the county championship and the game having reduced significance.
“Unfortunatly there was a marked reduction in attendance between the Mid final (9th Sept) and the replay (27th Oct). Was it the fact that it was played too late in the year, or was it the fact that apart from the honour of winning a Mid title there was nothing else at stake at county level?
“Last year all Mid competitions were completed by the 12th of November. This year the two under-21 Mid hurling finals were played on Sunday the 25th of November with this year's Mid intermediate football still to be played. Every year, new words are added to the dictionary - I don’t think that “certainty” can be added to the GAA dictionary after 2018,” she writes.
Between the Mid senior and juvenile boards more than 530 games were played in 2018, with more than one hundred county championship and league games having been played at mid venues from February - November.
“You can appreciate the demands that are on our venues and the Mid Board would like to say special thanks to the clubs who put their facilities at the board's disposal and to all the caretakers for their help and dedication.
“It’s a pleasure to go to games where fields are presented in the best condition for players to perform, and also for those clubs who operate a scoreboard for patrons, which enhances the experience of all those attending games.
“The board acknowledges the hard work of club members led by their field officers in presenting their fields in such good condition for league and championship games.
“Thanks to all the clubs for your hospitality throughout the year and we look forward to working with them throughout 2019,” she wrote.
Mid Tipperary GAA
President: Liam Hennessy (Moycarkey-Borris),
Chairman: Jonathan Cullen (Loughmore-Castleiney),
Vice-Chairman: Joe O’Sullivan (Moycarkey-Borris),
Secretary: Sally Young (Drom & Inch),
Assistant Secretary: Catherine Dunne (Moyne-Templetuohy),
Treasurer: John Collins (Gortnahoe-Glengoole),
Assistant Treasurer: Liz Flanagan (Holycross-Ballycahill),
PRO: Trevor Hassett (Drom & Inch),
Semple Stadium Rep: Jim Max (Thurles Sarsfields),
Gate Checkers: Batt O’Dea (Loughmore-Castleiney), Jimmy Meighen (Gortnahoe-Glengoole).