Brian Cody: ‘GAA calendar creating elitism among inter-county players’
KILKENNY manager Brian Cody believes the current GAA calendar has created a “dangerous precedent” and warned that elitism is now a serious issue for the authorities.
Cody oversaw his Kilkenny team’s clash with Galway in the inaugural Wild Geese Trophy clash in Sydney, and speaking on the G’Day GAA podcast, offered his thoughts on the current state of the game.
The 64-year-old told listeners that the club is the “lifeblood” of the Association and insisted that semi-professionalism or professionalism can never be part of the GAA as “it goes against everything the GAA stands for.”
Despite such a decorated career on the inter-county scene, Cody wants change to preserve the status of the club game.
“There really has to be a serious look taken at it, almost come in with a blank canvas and plan the year between club and county and have a regular supply of games for both,” he said.
“It’s possible to do it but there has to be a meeting of minds between everybody to achieve that.
What’s there right now is not best for everyone. Five per cent of the hurling population play inter-county hurling, if you were living in a town where 5% of the population were entitled to go to work every day and 95% didn’t have anything to do… it’s not a level playing pitch.”
Many critics of the current GAA calendar have argued that the gap between clubs and counties is getting greater. The 11-time All-Ireland winning manager said that while new round-robin Championship format this year added great drama, he pointed to the “hostile” reaction from clubs.
He feels the balance needs to be addressed.
“It’s creating an elitism about county hurlers, the fact that they’re playing regularly in the summer months whereas the fellas with the club are sitting at home, the pitches are empty.
“That’s a dangerous precedent to be setting because they see themselves as inter-county players, ‘Oh yeah, sure the club, I’ll play with them whenever I feel like it’, that creates dangerous possibilities for the Association.”