"Angry" Sligo manager McEntee calls on GAA to stand up to government and get some clarity for its members
Crossmaglen native Tony McEntee is in his first year as the Sligo senior football manager and as you can imagine, it's been a haphazard couple of months.
It wasn't helped, McEntee says, by the GAA's letter to counties on Wednesday night to say that inter-county training would not take place until easter at the earliest. Without a plan, without a schedule, McEntee is calling on the GAA to stand up to the government, to state the case of their members and for once and for all, to provide a concrete update on how this season might pan out.
"It was out of the blue," McEntee said of the GAA's letter to counties. "I have to say I was very angry last night, having read the letter. From a county perspective, I was very angry because we were led along for so far. First it was on February 15, there will be a return to play because we're part of that elite status. I accept now that this was an exemption, but nobody told us that it was an exemption...there's a whole lot of issues in that for me with players living in expectation. If they knew this in January, why didn't they say it then?" he asks.
Alan Milton on the GAA's latest delay and the fixture plan for the 2021 season 📅
Dan Morrissey on the move from wing back to full back 🏑
Tony McEntee on what is more special: winning with your club or winning with your county 🏆
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— The GAA Hour (@TheGAAHour) February 11, 2021
"What we need is some honesty," McEntee added, "we need somebody in the GAA to say 'listen guys, this isn't going to work for us here,' there's too much uncertainty and we want to push it out to the latter part of the year, or give us clarity on how we can do it earlier. You simply can't plan as an inter-county team for something that's so uncertain...For me, this letter provided more questions than answers..."
"How long can we keep players doing conditioning, running and weights at home without knowing where the end goal is? We're (Sligo senior team) going to have a meeting about that tonight. But that's what the GAA needs to provide the clarity on..."
When asked about the possibility of cancelling the league, McEntee says it would be "devastating" for his players and for players in other counties.
"We would be much better running a League into championship, even if it was a condensed league. To just have a two-game championship games would be devastating...just take it, we have a couple of guys who have decided to set aside other sports to just play GAA this year. We also have three/four people who are looking for counselling/advisory support because of the difficulties during the pandemic..."