Category: Archive

N.Y. considers withdrawal from All-Ireland football

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The future of the New York’s All-Ireland senior football team is in serious doubt after their hammering by Donegal over the weekend. New York manager Frank Brady confirmed to the players after Sunday’s trouncing, 3-22 to 2-9, that training is suspended this week pending the outcome of an emergency meeting of the New York executive board of officers.

Before going to press, the officers of the New York GAA were due to meet last night to decide on the future of the present New York senior football team. Many of the officers feel that the team should be withdrawn from the Connaught championship immediately and the game against Galway in the first round should be canceled.

The New York management has experienced extreme difficulty in organizing challenge matches this year, with the trip to Boston suspended at the start of April due to weather conditions and the game against Donegal scheduled for last Friday also being suspended due to a waterlogged pitch.

Frank Brady has lost 18 of his players from last year’s panel, with the roar of the Celtic Tiger in Ireland beckoning players and work commitments causing major disruptions to the training schedule.

Donegal totally outclassed their opposition in Gaelic Park on Sunday and many feel that an embarrassing result against Galway would destroy the credibility of the New York GAA. Others feel that years of tireless work and effort in getting the New York team into the Connaught Championship will be wasted now if the board were to decide to pull the plug.

New York’s manager, Frank Brady, was enthusiastic about this year’s panel earlier this month when he told the Irish Echo that he had gained some valuable new players. It now appears that he has a change of heart after suspending training for this week.

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Twelve thousand dollars of New York GAA funds was spent on preparation and organization for the Donegal trip to New York, but after the cancellation on Friday and the disastrous result in Gaelic Park on Sunday, many see it now as a waste of money.

There had been some problems brewing for the New York management during the week with a player-management meeting asking serious questions about the commitment of the trainer, Paddy Kearney, and Kerry players who are the present New York club champions. The problem seemed to be resolved on Sunday with Kearney and the Kerry players, Bingo Driscoll and Paul Gallivan, turning up for the game.

The loss of Leslie McGettigan, the previous New York trainer, due to family and work commitments was also a serious blow to this year’s set-up. Injuries to many of the key players as well as the appointment of new selectors have all taken their toll and would now appear to have unsettled the championship preparations.

If the Executive Board of Officers decide to withdraw the New York senior football team from the championship, it will deprive many of the players the unique opportunity to play senior intercounty football this year. However, if major improvement doesn’t take place in the team in the next six weeks, many feel it would be better to save them the embarrassment of another hammering by Galway in Tuam in early June.

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