Peace talks in Cavan


Mediation talks aimed at solving the conflict involving the Cavan county board, the management of the senior football team and the players will be held within the next few days. This follows a lively emergency meeting of the board, held in camera at Crosskeys, near Cavan town, last night and early this morning.

The meeting was called because of strong criticism of the management team of Liam Austin and team trainer Hugo Clerkin and of performances by the players. There was fierce criticism of the way the team played against Fermanagh when they were badly beaten (3-13 to 0-8).

It appears that a faction among the players conveyed their lack of confidence in the team management and an immediate dispute arose in regard to what the future held for Cavan football. The team manager, the former Down manager Liam Austin, clashed in the dressingroom with the county board manager, Brendan Keeney. This, in turn, brought about a clear three-way clash between the players, the management team and the county board officials.

At the meeting scheduled for last night the county board burned midnight and morning oil as they sought a way out of their dilemma.

There was a very strong recommendation that an "independent" chairman be asked to bring the different sides together and that he might call representatives of the players, the management and the county board in an attempt to resolve the problem. This would appear to be the compromise which was reached.

An unconfirmed report said that a letter from the players was read at the meeting in which 20 players supported the "heave" against Austin and Clerkin.

A substantial group of players reportedly met in Cavan town within recent days and a vote of no confidence was passed in the management of the team. An attempt to mend broken fences was made last night and early this morning.

Suggestions that the former Cavan manager Martin McHugh might be brought back to manage the team have come to nothing as McHugh has announced that he will take over management of the Donegal under-16 side in the near future.