Home Sport GAA Laois GAA cancel this year’s U-20 football and hurling championships

Laois GAA cancel this year’s U-20 football and hurling championships

There will be no U-20 club football or hurling championships in Laois this year.

The competitions would usually be getting underway in the coming weeks but Laois GAA secretary Niall Handy informed clubs that these would not take place this year.

Last year, Courtwood-Emo claimed U-20 football glory and Camross won the U-20 hurling title.

The CCC chose the option to cancel them altogether due to multiple potential clashes with other fixtures.

According to Mr Handy, players could potentially be involved in minor county teams, U-20 hurling team and even senior hurling and football teams – as well as participating in the senior football championships semi finals when they come around.

The inter-county action is due to get underway on Saturday October 18 as the Laois senior footballers face Westmeath in the league and the minor hurlers host Offaly in the championship.

The U-20 hurlers begin their campaign on Wednesday October 21 at home to Carlow.

While Eddie Brennan’s Laois senior hurlers start on Saturday October 24 against Dublin in the Leinster quarter final.

And Mark Bates’ Laois minor footballers begin their Leinster championship campaign on Wednesday October 28.

In all likelihood, the earlier the Laois senior football championships will be able to resume is at the end of November. So that doesn’t leave much of a window to play an U-20 club championship – hence this decision.

Mr Handy said: “The U-20 football and hurling club championships were cancelled by the CCC.

“(This is) due to number of players at these grades involved with inter county minor football and hurling, U-20 hurling and to a lesser extent senior football and hurling – also taking into account that there will also be U-20’s involved with the remaining teams in our local SFC.

“It will be reviewed later in the year and on publication of 2021 inter county calendar, with a view to organising an U-21 championship in January/February/March 2021.”

With games now coming down to the closing weeks, Handy also thanked clubs for their cooperation – especially during these Covid-19 times.

He said: “We have another busy weekend of football and hurling championships and I would like to acknowledge all of our clubs who have successfully facilitated matches in recent weeks and were fully compliant with public health guidelines.

“I would appeal for your continued efforts in this regard and which are vitally important in paving the way for the possible return of supporters in greater numbers in the weeks and months ahead.

“As an organisation, we have a responsibility at every level to ensure that best practice is adhered to around our games and in the area of spectator attendance in particular.

“The two most obvious challenges for us in this regard focus on social distancing in our stands and in our club grounds and the management of the post-match games and presentations, during which supporters must be kept off the pitch.”

SEE ALSO – Laois County Council outline a possible re-opening date for Portlaoise Leisure Centre

SEE ALSO – Check out more stories from the Laois Joint Policing Commission here

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.