St. Pa­trick’s mak­ing re­turn to adult hurl­ing

Bray People - - SPORT -

ST. PA­TRICK’S GAA Club is to en­ter an adult hurl­ing team for the first time in five years or more.

The de­ci­sion to re­turn to the adult hurl­ing scene was taken af­ter much ag­o­nis­ing and soulsearch­ing by the Wick­low town club and dis­cus­sions with county of­fi­cials.

Hurl­ing for Se­nior play­ers in the club was dropped fol­low­ing a game at Ark­low end­ing in an ugly scene in the carpark af­ter the match.

A move to re­store hurl­ing at Se­nior and Ju­nior level was mooted this year fol­low­ing their suc­cess at Mi­nor level in re­cent years but it led to heated de­bate be­tween the hurl­ing and foot­ball fac­tions within the club.

The County Board set up a three-man del­e­ga­tion of Jackie Napier, Vice-Chair­man Martin Cole­man and Jim Bob Doyle to meet with club of­fi­cers in an ef­fort to break the dead­lock and avoid a re­fusal lead­ing to ac­ri­mo­nious ap­peals.

In the end St. Pa­trick’s agreed to en­ter an In­ter­me­di­ate hurl­ing team in 2011 – be­sides their usual ju­ve­nile teams – a de­ci­sion that led to some club of­fi­cials re­sign­ing their po­si­tions.

A back­room team and pro­fes­sional struc­tures are to be put in place gov­ern­ing dis­ci­pline and train­ing and hurlers will have to sign up to this code of ethics and dis­ci­pline be­fore a slio­thar is pucked.

Many mem­bers of the team will be for­mer Mi­nor play­ers com­ing up from the ju­ve­nile ranks but they will boosted by county stars such as Andy O’Brien, Jim Con­nors and for­mer great ser­vant De­nis Ta O’Brien.

All play­ers will have to par­tic­i­pate in the rig­or­ous train­ing pro­gramme if they want to be se­lected on the team.

At the county Board meet­ing last week, Gle­nealy’s Ian O’Neill spoke on be­half of hurl­ing in gen­eral in the county and wel­comed St. Pa­trick’s back into the adult hurl­ing scene.

Eire Og’s Dr. Bren­dan Cud­dihy felt that St. Pa­trick’s should be en­tered in the Se­nior cham­pi­onship as they would be too strong for the in­ter­me­di­ate grade, but Ian O’Neill felt that this was a new ven­ture for the Wick­low club and they should be al­lowed re­main in the In­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­onship.

Brian Glee­son of St. Pa­trick’s said that they un­der­stood the concern of some clubs. While some of their play­ers were on the county Se­nior team, a lot of their team would be play­ers com­ing through from Mi­nor.

This was a long term thing they were putting in place for hurl­ing in St. Pa­trick’s Club.

The re-emer­gence of an adult hurl­ing team in St. Pa­trick’s will put ex­tra pres­sure on the club’s Dun­bur Park fa­cil­i­ties for train­ing teams.

The de­ci­sion will also im­pact on the fu­tures of New­cas­tle and Fer­gal Og clubs whose suc­cesses in the last few years were greatly as­sisted by the in­flux of for­mer St. Pa­trick’s hurlers.

It is highly likely that New­cas­tle and Fer­gal Og will now be un­able to field team on their own, they may have to fold with their play­ers seek­ing per­mis­sion to hurl with neigh­bour­ing clubs.

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