As the dust begins to settle on the much discussed April club month and the inter-county championship season quickly approaches, players and spectators around the country will be assessing the success and future viability of the idea.
Many counties opted out of playing any senior club action during this month. According to this report in the Irish Times, 25 club campaigns didn’t see the field during the month, while the likes of Tipperary, Limerick, Galway and Dublin all took the opportunity to field their senior hurling and football club championships.
The idea was bound to come under major scrutiny. While it wasn’t mandatory to stage club games during the month, it was disappointing not to see more counties take the opportunity while the county scene took a back seat.
The feedback will undoubtedly vary from county to county, but the immediate hindsight suggests its not entirely the answer to the club versus county debate. The debate will linger on into next year, now that clubs must take a three or four month break while the county takes centre stage.
Is the answer moving the county campaign even earlier into the year, allowing for club to run from August to the end of the year? Or should the the winter and spring months be shaken up once again to allow club and county to co-exist?
Either way, the GAA and its county associates must begin working on a master fixture calendar to be implemented years down the line. If FIFA can upset the world’s fixture calendars to move the World Cup to winter in 2022, the GAA can find a way to better structure its fixtures.