Home GAA Kilkenny Senior Player Speaks Out Against Football System In The County

Kilkenny Senior Player Speaks Out Against Football System In The County

Last week the GAA witnessed one of the most overwhelming defeats in minor football history as Wexford trashed Kilkenny 17:20 to 0:01, a difference of 71 points.

For many the result became somewhat of a joke, as it highlighted just how much of a hurling county Kilkenny really is.

However, for those who are involved in Kilkenny football and want to improve the game there, it was no laughing matter.

Kilkenny senior county player Caleb Roche spoke to Action Replay’s Extra Time podcast about the system in Kilkenny and criticised the county board following the defeat:

“When you throw a team together three weeks before a match, what do you expect?

“There is no club football structure in place. How do you expect to be able to compete at inter-county level?

“I was at the game the other day and I felt sorry for the young lads to be honest. Especially when you had some of the hierarchy of the county board sitting there at the start of the match all laughing and they didn’t care about the match.

“But then as soon as the scoreline started to go the other way, the smiles soon started to disappear and it’s not good enough.

“There’s very little (in the way of a) system. The senior football county final is next weekend. They just want to play it off before the hurling.

“A senior football team in Kilkenny is guaranteed three league matches and one championship game, that’s it – four matches you’re guaranteed; whereas a junior hurling team is guaranteed 15 hurling matches.”

Results like these have been occurring since 2001, when Kilkenny lost 9:21 to 0:02 against Dublin. In 2004 Louth beat them 5:18 to 0:03. In 2008 it was Laois who won 4:20 to 0:06. During the 2011 campaign Meath beat the Cats 6:27 to 0:00 and in 2013 it was Offaly, winning on a scoreline of 8:30 to 1:00.

Yet, despite this shocking history, Roche believes that nothing will be changed.

“They had a meeting last night (Monday), but to me that’s just to show that they’re doing something. The meeting should’ve happened at the start of the year to sort out how they’re going to tackle football.

“They don’t really care, as long as they can get a team to fulfil a fixture. It’s just to tick boxes for them.

“All that has to be done, in my view, is to put a proper structure in place at underage level and say to teams that if they want to play football then put a team in.

“The only proper age group at the moment is under-14 level.”

Listen to the full interview below (twelve minutes in).

Enda Coll, Pundit Arena

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