McConville slams Orchard raid on clubs

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

CROSS-MAGLEN'S Oisin McConville has blasted Armagh's treatment of club football.
County players have been asked by county management not to play for their clubs, even though it is five weeks from the Ulster Championship clash against Cavan.
And while the Crossmaglen manager acknowledges that the Armagh management may have the best of intentions, in trying to create an environment that give the Orchard County the best chance of success, he is scathing on how the Armagh County Board has handled the situation.
“The way it has been communicated and they way they have gone about it has been a shambles and hopefully it will be sorted out sooner than later," said McConville.
“It is hard to believe that five weeks before we play in the Ulster Championship that clubs are expected to go without their county players.
“If it works and it gets Armagh success then it is fair enough, but if not then it needs reassessed before next year.
“Clubs have had no clarification from the County Board. The County management have no authority to tell players not to play for their clubs that has to come as a directive from the County Board.
“I hope that process is done and dusted pretty quickly. At the minute we are cooperating with the county management but we need clarification from the County Board." Crossmaglen Rangers were without James Morgan, Jamie Clarke, Paul Hughes, Kyle Carragher, Tony Kernan and the injured Aaron Kernan and Paul McKeown, in Wednesday nights All-County League victory against St Killian's Whitecross, who were forced to field without Mark Shields.
“It is disappointing for clubs, for me as a manager and all club managers. We are probably worse hit because we have to do without seven county players," he said.
“If it was three weeks or a month then I could understand it but six weeks is a bit much, let's be honest.
“I think they are trying to create the club atmosphere at county level and there is nothing wrong with that in theory."
Armagh will play two weeks after the Cavan game, should they win or three weeks later if they lose and it is assumed the clubs won't have access to their players until those games are over, or until Armagh are out of the All-Ireland series altogether.
McConville is fully behind Armagh's drive to defeat Cavan in the Ulster Championship and he hopes that the disruption to club football will be worthwhile.
“We hope it has the desired effect and we beat Cavan and then kick on," he said.
“At the end of the day we are Armagh supporters and I think the bigger picture is that if Armagh do well in the Championship then the sacrifice made by the clubs will be worth it."

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