Ulster football team manager Brian McEniff has slammed the limited diet of club football on offer during the months of June, July and August.
McEniff, forced to select his line-up for tomorrow's Martin Donnelly inter-provincial semi-final against Connacht in Ballybofey from what is virtually a skeleton panel, believes that the backlog of club fixtures which ensues annually in the autumn could be avoided.
"I'm glad to see that there are some very good proposals going in front of the Special Congress in January which will hopefully lead to better-structured club fixture programmes," states McEniff.
"It is very discouraging to see that upwards on 97 per cent of club players do not get enough meaningful action when the evenings are long and pitches are, by and large, well able to accommodate a lot of games."
The Derry football replay this Sunday coupled with the Monaghan decider and various important promotion/relegation games in other counties have robbed McEniff of a rich seam of talent as he bid to win the inter-pro silverware for what would be the 14th time in the 25 years he has been in charge.
"The timing of the inter-pro series is not suitable but then you have to ask, when is a suitable time under the present fixtures set-up? We have only managed to get in a couple of squad sessions. Yet before Leinster played Munster last weekend, they had been training two nights a week, as far as I understand. Mind you, they lost," points out McEniff.
He is hoping that the Special Congress will give the green light to a more streamlined club fixtures programme throughout the country and is keen to see county championship programmes completed before the autumn sets in.
"When I was playing with St Joseph's some 30 years ago, I well remember that we clinched the Donegal title in mid-August. I don't see any real reason why county championships cannot be completed perhaps by the end of August or the beginning of September," maintains McEniff.
For tomorrow's clash with Connacht, he has entrusted the leadership of the Ulster side to Tyrone defender Conor Gormley.
He will take charge of a side that encompasses experience and steel at the back where Barry Owens and Kevin McCloy will be key figures while Eoin Lennon and Dan Gordon will man midfield.
Tommy Freeman, the best forward in Ulster this year, Enda Muldoon and Ger Pierson can carry a big threat up front against a Connacht side that will be backboned by Galway and Mayo players.
"Obviously we have some experienced players missing but we have a decent side, I believe. I understand that Connacht are taking the competition very seriously and I would very much like to see us reach the final in which we would meet Munster under the Croke Park floodlights tomorrow week," adds McEniff.