Tyrone Championship must start earlier -McCaughey

Errigal Ciaran celebrate winning the 2012 Tyrone Championship

The Tyrone Club Championships must revert back to an earlier starting date in the calendar, outgoing Secretary Dominic McCaughey points out in his report to Sunday’s annual County Convention.

Delegates at Stewartstown at the weekend will hear the Trillick man label the two year trial to play the Club Championships after the Tyrone teams have completed their All-Ireland series, a failure and hit out at the ‘detrimental’ effect it has had on other competitions which are dragging on into the winter months.

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Mr McCaughey outlines a numbers of factors which suggest it’s now time to revert to commencing the adult football championships during their more traditional late spring/early summer slot. He said the two-year trial of not commencing the three Club Championships until the Tyrone senior team had rounded-off its campaign had been clearly shown to add to fixtures’ difficulties rather than reducing them.

“There has been a detrimental effect on the Reserve Knockout competition and the U21 competition in football, neither of which could be accommodated with summer football; also by squeezing the football championships into an eight week timeframe in the autumn, serious and unfair demands are placed on, (a) the Club grounds that can host night-time fixtures; (b) the match officials, gate officials and the stewards; (c) the patrons who want to attend and support their teams and our games; (d) the PR section that is attempting to publicise and promote the games; (e) the wining teams whose players do not get sufficient time to recover and prepare for the next fixture.

“Now it would be appropriate to revert to commencing the adult football championships at the start of the summer.”

The County Secretary said that the Clubs’ playing season began with the Minor Football League on 28th March and concluded for most with the final ordinary rounds of the All-County Leagues which took place in the last week of October.

He added that for a smaller number of clubs the season was prolonged further due to participation in the Ulster Leagues in February and because of promotion and relegation matters, playoffs and the U21 football competition in November and December.

“For some Clubs this is a seriously lengthy season that could be significantly condensed by the inclusion of a more streamlined fixtures’ programme during the summer months.”