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Murphy: Beara needs ‘serious look’ at division after footballers withdraw from championship

June 11th, 2023 1:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Murphy: Beara needs ‘serious look’ at division after footballers withdraw from championship Image
Carbery's Rory O'Connor gets to grips with Beara's Jason Harrington during the 2022 Cork PSFC divisions/colleges semi-final at Bantry.

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FOLLOWING the withdrawal of its senior football team from the county championship, Beara GAA Chairman Michael Murphy feels a ‘serious look’ at the division is needed to get it back on track.

Beara were scheduled to play Avondhu last Thursday night, June 8th, in the opening round of the divisions/colleges section, but the western division informed the Cork County Board recently that they are unable to field a team.

This is the second time in recent years that Beara has pulled out of the championship as they didn’t compete in 2020 and ’21, but did return for the revamped competition last season.

‘There is an unprecedented number of players unavailable, mainly due to injuries, also some having work commitments and others are away travelling,’ Murphy told The Southern Star.

Urhan, Garnish and Glengarriff are all involved in round-robin county championships this season, which they weren’t in 2022. With such a tight schedule it was getting more difficult to organise training sessions for the Beara footballers, and the division couldn’t field a team for a challenge game last month.

‘The Beara board met with the club delegates and taking all the facts into consideration it was best to inform the county board of our situation rather than ringing up the day before saying we can’t fulfill our fixtures,’ Murphy explained.

It’s Beara’s intention to field again in the county senior football championship in 2024, but Murphy admits there is work to be done within the division, including the possibility of creating an U20-21 competition.

‘Going forward a serious look at the whole division will need to take place,’ the Beara chairman said.

‘We have a need for an U20-21 competition to create a team to feed into the senior one. Having an U18 team and nothing until senior makes it difficult. However, it is not all doom and gloom. Lads are getting games with their clubs this year and the player interest is also there, and we just have to find a way together to move forward.’

The withdrawal of the Beara team from the county championship is a considerable setback for the division. Last season, in the new unseeded section of the divisions/colleges championship Beara played three games against Avondhu, Muskerry and Beara, and that was seen as a solid platform for the division to build on. Unfortunately, that hasn’t proved to be the case, despite underage success for various Beara teams.

‘Beara football has fallen into a place that is not where anyone wants it to be,’ chairman Murphy admitted.

‘2022 was a very encouraging year with a senior panel of 35 players from all the clubs togging out, the Beara U19s winning the county final and Beara U16s winning the Premier 2 county football championship.

‘It looked like the tide had turned and Beara football was back on the up. Unfortunately, the tide went out again. It never stops.’

The Beara chairman added: ‘The board has put all the necessary in place thanks to support from the community and our main sponsors, Supervalu Castletownbere and Shellfish Ireland Castletownbere, for which we are grateful.

‘Playing with Beara will only make players better and this will be better for their clubs in the long run. Ultimately it will be up to the players to make themselves available in the future.’

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