Antrim’s chairman taking hard line against indiscipline
Antrim chairman Jim Murray has declared war on indiscipline — and is already making moves to combat what he terms “a cancer in our games” even before the new season has got under way.
Murray hopes to see six facilitators appointed very shortly and their brief will be to make themselves available to visit all clubs in the county to lay down strict guidelines in relation to sportsmanship and respect for referees.
“I see this as a very important measure in our drive to ensure that acts of violence — both on and off the pitch — are eradicated,” said Murray.
“I think that club players and indeed county players have to be made fully aware of what is expected from them in terms of behaviour.”
Murray added: “We have no interest in what anyone else does, we are determined to set our own standards in terms of sportsmanship for the future.
“I believe that the role of the six facilitators will prove crucial in helping to deliver this.”
With the fall-out from the Ulster Council Hearings Committee’s decision to overturn the ban on St Mary’s Rasharkin competing in competitions above Minor level in 2012, Murray is anxious to see the GAA in Antrim move forward in positive mode.
“I think there is a responsibility on everyone involved in GAA to ensure that acceptable standards of sportsmanship and integrity are maintained,” says Murray.
“Obviously headlines have been made for the wrong reasons lately and now we must try and show the Association in a much better light.”
He is hopeful that clubs will show enthusiasm to engage with the facilitators so that incidents of serious indiscipline and violence both on and off the field can be eradicated from the sport.