Player burnout Committee asked to consider U-17 level
Pat Daly, the GAA head of games, has asked the Football Review Committee to consider an under-17 grade in order to address the burnout problem of the best young talent in Gaelic games.
A dual minor player can be committed to anything up to 12 teams and the Leaving Certificate in the same calendar year.
“The minor player is caught between underage and adult, having to cater for club, county and colleges and also trying to do exams,” said Daly. “We’re saying, ‘Is there a contradiction here?’ and does this thing need to be streamlined and modified? That’s the area I was particularly looking at. What we find is there is a big element of fall-off in our games, particularly at youth level.
“If you have people with an involvement in up to 12 teams you are going to have problems. We believe kids of 14, 15, 16, 17 should be specifically youth development years with the player’s best interest at heart and the player at the centre of the process. That’s distinct from the player being pulled by club, county and college and doing exams. What we have discovered is that 90 per cent of people who do the Leaving Cert today are 18 and that means there is a big issue around transition.”
Daly accepted any change would have to be introduced across the “whole totality of the organisation, club and county”.