KILDARE will not be allowed to field senior players in this year’s Leinster Junior Football Championship following a decision made at last Saturday’s Central Council meeting in Croke Park.
For the 2012 championship Kildare, along with Dublin and Meath, will only be allowed field players from junior and intermediate clubs but the same does not apply to the remaining counties that will compete.
The decision comes after a debate on the structures of the provincial and All Ireland Junior Championships last year. One idea was to disband the competition altogether, however Central Council asked the CCC to look at the structures and format of the competition and asked provincial councils for their recommendations, one of which from Leinster was that the three teams not be allowed field players from senior clubs.
At last weekend’s meeting Kildare’s Central Council Delegate Marty McEvoy proposed that the competition remain the same but it was a vote he lost.
Kildare junior boss Tony Kelly is disappointed with the new rule from a players perspective but says he will be putting in the same effort as always for the Lilies’ opened round clash with Louth on May 16 in Newbridge.
“I’m disappointed for the lads from senior clubs because they are being deprived the opportunity of playing for their county now,” admitted Kelly.
Meanwhile, Kelly will take charge of the Kildare team that will face UCD in the O’Byrne Cup final this Friday night in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise. With boss Kieran McGeeney away, the junior management team will take the reigns and are expected to name a number of fringe players in the starting XV.
The senior team will then take on All Ireland finalists Kerry in a challenge match in Kerry on Saturday week, March 25.
- Ruth O’Brien