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18th May 2021

“It’s an issue very close to many young girls’ hearts” – Cork minors call for All-Ireland championship

Niall McIntyre

What sort of a minor team had ye?

It could be a team of late developers just as easy as it could be a team of underage sensations but it’s only when the last ball is kicked in the minor championship when you know that the fun and games are over, that you’re up with the big dogs now.

You’re still in school, you’re still only a youngster and it doesn’t matter if you’re going around at break-time or over training with the club, they’ll all be asking you how things are going in with the county minor team.

You’ll tell them that it’s very competitive in there, that one or two more from the club here probably should have made it too and if you’re a young girl in 2021, you’ll also have to tell them that there’s no All-Ireland this year.

Thankfully, the provincial championships are still good to go but winning Munster or winning Connacht isn’t the same as the big one. In a statement with the Irish Examiner, the LGFA reasoned that ‘player burn-out’ forced their hand in this most truncated of seasons but for the hundreds of youngsters who have been dreaming of this since they were 14 years of age, that doesn’t wash when all they want to do is play.

Cork beat Monaghan in the 2019 All-Ireland minor final in Tullamore.

Grace Murphy is one of the players affected and the Cork youngster is looking to change things. With the backing of the Cork management team, she has created a petition online, which you can sign here, to save not just the minor but the u-14 and u-16 All-Ireland ladies football championships too.

“It is an issue very close to many young girls and ladies football supporters hearts,” says Grace.

“I was a player on the Cork minors ladies football team last year and am currently undergoing trials and hoping to remain on the panel this year. I can’t wait to get back training and playing matches however, my excitement is slightly dampened by the devastating news that there will be no All Ireland Campaign for any female underage county teams this year, due to a decision made by the LGFA. 

“Not only is this decision a huge insult to any female underage county players, management or trainers that were hoping to compete and reach their full potential at the highest level this year, it’s a critical blow to the younger generation of ladies footballers as it implies that we are simply not important enough.:

You can sign Grace’s petition here.