McStay predicts fixtures “free for all”
Roscommon manager Kevin McStay says that he is predicting troubled times ahead with regard to fixtures when it comes to April 2018. Under the new fixtures list the GAA have decreed that April will have to be totally dedicated to club action. However, McStay says that it will be a “free for all” with regard to county training, with many teams playing big games early in May.
“In Connacht for instance, Mayo are playing Galway on May 13th and if anyone thinks that the Mayo and Galway teams will not be training in April then they are suffering from serious delusions. Leitrim are playing in New York on the first Sunday in May so they will surely be training in April too.
“If Roscommon want to prepare properly to beat the likes of Galway or Mayo then we have to be looking at making preparations in April. I will be meeting the Roscommon CCCC in the next week to discuss the situation but I have a responsibility to ensure that Roscommon are properly prepared for the championship and there is sure to be a conflict of interest,” he said.
“We have a situation where there is a mandatory stop to all GAA activities between the 20th and 28th December and to enforce that I understand that the GAA have suspended their insurance scheme between those dates, which would mean that if anything happens to any player in that period they would not have insurance. I have not heard of any such plans for April but the situation looks chaotic to me as it stands.
“We will be starting our (inter-county) season earlier and playing more games. Our aim is to get into the Super 8 and in that case we will be playing more games than ever before,” he concluded.
The Roscommon senior manager confirmed that the three Daly brothers Niall, Conor and Ronan and Cathal Cregg are back with the Roscommon panel. A number of new additions to the panel will also begin training soon including Finbar Cregg, Tadgh McKenna, Ross Timothy, Aengus Lyons, Philip Neilan and Conor Hussey. McStay says that the situation with regard to Neil Collins remains unclear.
There are now 43 players on a provisional panel. Training will start on December 1st but all players are on individual programmes at the moment. In December there will be in-house matches on Sunday 3rd, Sunday 17th and Sunday 31st and there have been challenge games arranged for Sunday, December 10th (v Offaly), and Tuesday, December 19th (v Westmeath). It is hoped to give some of the newer members of the panel a run in those games alongside the more established panel members.