Should Urhan play in the Carbery JAFC?

June 30th, 2021 11:40 AM

By Ger McCarthy

Urhan's Micheal Shea breaks out of defence past Passage West's Ryan Carroll during the Bon Secours 2020 JAFC quarter-final at Dunmanway.

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FOLLOWING their disappointing Cork JAFC exit to Passage West, is it time to explore the possibility of Urhan – the only junior A football team in the Beara division – taking part in the Carbery junior A football championship?

As the solitary junior A team in Beara, Urhan have no competition in their own divisional championship and that certainly puts them on the back foot when they enter the county series. While other teams are tested in their divisional campaigns, currently Urhan have no championship opposition in Beara.

‘I’ll be honest, it is a massive disadvantage and there is no point in saying otherwise,’ Urhan manager Ciarán O’Sullivan told The Southern Star.

‘We are fortunate in that Urhan gets to compete in the South West football league involving Carbery junior A clubs. That’s what we have but what we haven’t got is the competition we need at championship level. We saw it there with Passage West, in that they are playing teams in a higher (grade of) competition and benefitting from that.

‘Now, our South West League games are tough but we need a higher intensity of competition and more games like the Passage West one this past weekend if we want to make progress.’

When Garnish decided to re-grade to junior B for the 2020 season, it left Urhan as the only junior A football team in Beara. It’s not an ideal situation.

‘My own personal opinion is that we should be playing there (Carbery JAFC) already,’ Ciarán O’Sullivan stated.

‘Again, this is just my own personal view but I don’t see any sense in having just one junior A team in a division. I’m not quite sure how it all would work and, obviously, Carbery would have to agree to it, but I don’t see the sense in being the only team in a division.

‘Long-term and with a young team, it would benefit Urhan by playing regular championship matches. You might be under pressure for a bit but you’d be learning all the time. Urhan would know the intensity they would have to reach. You are not going to learn that otherwise so Urhan playing in the Carbery division is something that needs to happen.’

There is plenty of potential within Urhan’s adult and underage set-ups according to club chairman and secretary, Seamus Sullivan. Moving to a different championship would constitute a major change, but perhaps a necessary one as long as Urhan remain the only Beara junior A football team.

‘Urhan definitely needs more competition as Saturday’s loss to Passage West was our first championship game in two years,’ Seamus Sullivan said.

‘We are playing a lot of league games but against teams that are missing players. The same goes for any challenge games we arrange. A championship game is what it is all about. That’s why we believe if we had two or three of those type of (championship) games in a year, it would definitely bring fellas on.

‘People outside of Urhan GAA Club don’t realise the huge amount of work that is going on to keep everything going. I’m chairman of the whole club, underage as well. The underage section is thriving in Urhan at the moment. We were at an U11 underage blitz in Castletownbere there this weekend and those young players won every one of their games. It is just that the system is beating us at the moment. Completely and utterly. We have to get more games whether that is in the Carbery division or not. Urhan needs more competitive games.’

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