CARBERY GAA Chairman John Corcoran has described the decision of the Cork County Board CCC to turn down the division’s application to enter the 2016 county U21 A hurling championship as ‘a serious body blow to hurling in Carbery’.
It’s the second year in a row that Carbery was denied entry into the U21 A hurling championship, as the division looked to create a pathway from minor through to senior for its young hurlers.
Carbery has never fielded an U21 hurling team, but the divisional board wanted to further promote hurling in West Cork on the back of the recent success of the Carbery minor hurling team in the county Premier 1 and Premier 2 championships, as well as club success like Ahán Gaels’ county minor A hurling championship win.
But the county board CCC has outlined eight reasons why Carbery’s request to enter the U21 A hurling championship was turned down.
‘This is a serious body-blow to hurling within the division,’ chairman John Corcoran explained.
‘Not alone will Newcestown hurlers not be available to the Carbery senior hurling team for 2016 and beyond, there is also the fact that the players coming up will not be after playing at a higher level.
‘Given the success we have had at minor level the past two years, winning the Premier 2 county last year and getting to the Premier 1 semi-final this season, it was promoting hurling very well in Carbery.
‘When you consider that Newcestown recently won the premier intermediate championship there was a very good feel-good factor to hurling within Carbery.
‘We want to develop a Carbery senior hurling team – which we do – and get these players playing at the top level.
‘Unfortunately at U21 level there were only two teams (Newcestown and Bandon) in the championship in 2015, and who knows what will happen in 2016, so to give our hurlers the chance to play at a higher level would not only be beneficial for Carbery and the clubs in this division, but it would also benefit the county team at a time when it needs all the help it can get.’
The Carbery chairman added: ‘The raw materials are there but you need to be playing at a higher level, and we felt that in order to prepare Carbery for senior hurling and to improve the standard, that the minors need somewhere to progress to – and that’s U21 level.
‘We were willing to play U21 A. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened. This is a retrograde step by those decision makers.’