THE ladies club season will get underway this Sunday with a nine-aside league. County players will be exempt from taking part as they are in pre-season training with the county and are due to play their first league match on May 23 away to Roscommon.
The latest amendment to fixtures by Croke Park, which was released on Saturday, indicates a ‘split season’ where all county competitions, including the league and championship will be played before players will return to their respective clubs and take part in a club competition.
Initially the Fermanagh ladies fixtures committee had been preparing for club action after the National League, which would have been the beginning of July but the latest correspondence from Croke Park means the club league won’t start that soon and has been “shoved to the back end of the summer, as such” says Fermanagh ladies PRO Dearbhlaile McHugh.
The only possibility of any senior club action happening before that is if their NFL campaign ends sooner than hoped, in which case there would be a window up until the start of the All Ireland Intermediate Championship which commences July 10/11.
Dearbhlaile says, “Our nine-aside will be running these weekends, so that nobody is missing out on football.
“We only have definite dates for three league and three championship at this minute in time. Our own Senior League with the full compliment of players will start at the earliest opportunity, let it be after the National League, if they don’t reach the finals, or after the All Ireland series.”
This potentially means that with an All Ireland final scheduled for September 5, the club league in Fermanagh might not start until September 12.
McHugh admits “it’s really late” but says “the county players are playing with the county and are out every Sunday anyway and are out three times a week training.
“The county team like their football in a block, they are going now from May, right through and that’s them finished, not stop-start.”
As for club players, it is hoped that the nine-aside league will provide an outlet for all the non-county players “and keep them active” until such times as the “county team is knocked out and their league will start as soon as possible,” says Dearbhaile.
At a County committee meeting on Tuesday night , an open draw will be made for the nine-aside league and the fixtures masterplan will be ratified.
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Posted: 5:31 pm May 7, 2021