*St Josephs Miltown manager, Maurice Reidy. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Club managers in Clare have criticised restrictions on the amount of panel members allowed to tog out for championship encounters.
Along with the cap of 200 people allowed to attend GAA games – the figure includes players, management teams, media, officials, stewards and volunteers – teams are only permitted to name a panel of 24.
Ennistymon senior football manager, Kieran Kelleher admitted that having to only name a panel of 24 was “the toughest thing” he has had to do since taking charge of the North Clare magpies.
“I hope they make a change because it is very hard for a manager to pick 24 players. I made phonecalls on Thursday telling guys they wouldn’t be in the panel of 24 and it was heartbreaking. For some of them it’s awful because these guys are all training together, to have to pick 24 is very unfair, I would love if they let the whole panel in”.
Similar sentiments were expressed by St Josephs Miltown boss, Maurice Reidy. He outlined that having to select a panel of 24 was “extremely difficult”. “We have a lot of guys who have been with the club a long time, they’ve put a lot of effort in, they have trained very hard and to have to tell those guys on a Tuesday night that they couldn’t be part of the panel, warm up or be with us on Saturday was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do”.
Reidy is hopeful but not confident the decision may be reversed by officials in Croke Park. “I think it’s wrong to have to go to a guy who has been with us all year, doing Zoom calls, doing Zoom sessions and has maybe played a League game earlier in the year or challenge games and tell them they are not part of the squad, it’s not right”.