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Gaelic Players Association in call for review of county training ban

The Gaelic Players Association yesterday reiterated its call to the GAA to review the November-December close season county squad training ban.

The GPA includes many high-profile Ulster players in its membership — Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone) and Aaron Kernan (Armagh) are on the Executive Committee — and has concerns that the ban is currently being flaunted in some counties.

While the GPA insists it does not have a problem with a close season as such, the ‘one size fits all’ November-December county squad training black-out is viewed as rather inflexible

GPA spokesman Sean Potts says: “We believe deep down that every player we have spoken to — and remember we represent over 95 per cent of county footballers and hurlers — thinks there should be a close season but a more flexible rest period than the current November-December spell might prove more advantageous.”

Cork hurling goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack is the GPA chairman and he is in the vanguard of the bid to have the close season reviewed while Kildare footballer Ronan Sweeney, the new secretary, will play a key role in formulating the approach to the GAA.

Last weekend the Cavan County Board came under fire when a trial game was staged in the immediate aftermath of the Crossmaglen Rangers v Naomh Conaill Ulster Club final at Kingspan Breffni Park.

GAA President Christy Cooney has intimated he will “act quickly” if evidence can be provided counties are flaunting the ban and Croke Park authorities are monitoring the situation closely.

Sean Potts added: “The big question now is deciding when this (the close season) should become operative.”

Belfast Telegraph

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