GAA’s treatment of Wicklow ‘appalling’ — John Evans

Wicklow senior football manager John Evans has described the GAA’s decision to cancel his side’s Division Four game against Limerick as ‘appalling’.

Both Limerick and Wicklow had hoped to play the game — which had been previously postponed due to adverse conditions — in early May but they were not granted permission by the GAA.

Evans told the Irish Examiner that the decision of the GAA to declare the game against Limerick as ‘null and void’ is hurting the progression of gaelic games in the county.

“It’s been a horrible year so far for Wicklow, between the double stint of snow and players not being able to train and then the fixture being taken away. It’s certainly not helping the promotion of the game.

“The game [against Limerick] would have helped us in so many aspects. Both counties wanted to play, but the powers-that-be said no and it’s certainly not helping the development of football within the county of Wicklow.

“When you’re down at the bottom, there aren’t too many leg-ups being given to develop their game. They’re left to their own devices. Wicklow was the worst-hit football county, because we weren’t able to train for two weeks, because of the weather, and then we got another week of snow and weren’t able to train again, and then not to be given the opportunity to finish out the league was just appalling.”

Due to the cancellation, Wicklow — who lost four of their six matches, drawing the other two — finish bottom of Division Four.

However, Evans is encouraged about the future of the team.

He told the Irish Examiner: “It might not show on the score-lines, but there’s a young bunch of players after coming in and it’s about giving them game-time. Wicklow are going through a huge transition. It’s happening at under-age level as well, with Kevin O’Brien over the U16s and U17s and I’m taking the U20s, as well. It can’t just be one person coming in; it takes a whole movement to change things.”

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