08 June, 2011

Cork GAA: Clubs need to get behind county:

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Cork football captain Canty supports hurlers in 2009 strike
"This is your county.  You should be responsible for running it and the way it is run," -  Graham Canty

 When the Cork hurlers first addressed the clubs during the last player's strike in February 2009, they were joined on the podium at the Maryborough House Hotel by Cork football captain Graham Canty.
Canty outlined the reasons why he and his team-mates were backing the hurlers through the threat of strike for that year's Championship campaign.  Canty also added that the debate now represented a chance for club members to take ownership of GAA in Cork.
"This is your county," - he said.  "You should be responsibe for running it and the way it is run."
At the time, that was just one element in a battle that was being waged between a group of players, a manager and a county board.  It was only a matter of time though before Canty's words represented a near revolutionary slogan.  Through seeking to arrest power back from the county board, the clubs mobilised to such an overwhelming degree that they generated an avalanche of support which eventually ended the dispute.
What subsequently emerged, in March 2009, at the behest of over 150 clubs, was the establishment of the Cork GAA Clubs' Forum.  Their remit was to work on behalf of the clubs for the betterment of Cork GAA in an open and positive manner.  When they drew up their final report in October 2009, it concluded: 
"Recent events have cast a shadow across the image of Cork GAA.  In co-operation with the County Board, clubs and players, we intend to change that and bring success back to Cork GAA." 
Cork County Board Kingpin:   Frank Murphy
"co-operation"  was the key word in the statement.  Now, with Cork GAA facing a watershed moment over the coming months due to the impending retirement of the all powerful secretary Frank Murphy; Cork's clubs are seeking to be actively involved in the process seeking Murphy's successsor.
In the spirit of  "co-operation", that process can now be used to prove that matters really have changed for the better in Cork GAA.
It is also a perfect opportunity for the County Board to show that they are attuned to the needs of the clubs to be involved in making important decisions.
The clubs believe that full openness and transparency in the voting of a new secretary is essential at a time when a number of important issues need to be decided.
The defeats of the county's minor and senior hurlers in the first round of Championship action this year, has increased the desires of the clubs to have a more opinionated input into the development and coaching of hurling in the county.  Clubs agree that only a unified coaching structure can achieve that goal.
Cork GAA:  clubs need their say
Cork's clubs view the upcoming appointment process as vital to the future harmony, unity and progress of the Cork GAA.  The clubs want to appoint a successor who can provide a fresh outlook and impetus, someone who has the vibrancy and enthusiasm to implement the long-term initiatives that are required to rejuvenate the GAA in Cork.  The clubs are right to want to have their fair say in this because as Canty told them: "This is your county.  You should be responsible for running it and the way it is run."
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