Donegal will have to find a way to give club players a full schedule of games throughout the summer 0f 2018.
That is the view of one of the most experienced players to have played club football over the past 20 years.
John Haran of St. Eunan’s has just announced that he is retiring from club football, but he still feels that the club player is being forgotten when structures are being put in place.
On Monday night last the clubs in Donegal, at the annual Regulations meeting, decided that the make-up of the divisions would remain the same as 2017, ie, 10 teams in Division One, Two and Three with Division Four having eight teams.
However, the meeting did not make a determination on a number of motions because of a time factor and they have been postponed until a further meeting in January. Among these is the thorny issue of whether Star games (where clubs with a similar number of county panellists) are matched. However, it is learned that these motions in relation to Star games may be ruled out of order in January, which would mean that there would again be six Star fixtures in the coming schedule.
It is hard to gauge how a vote would go, but long-serving John Haran feels that the majority of teams in Division One would be willing to play league games without county players. “I would like to see a survey done. As far as I could see last year the big majority of the clubs wanted to play.
“If you are in a club dressing room after training in June on Tuesday night and you are asked would you like to play a game at the weekend (without county players) or would you rather wait and play it in November, I know what the answer will be,” says Haran.
“If they don’t get a weekly schedule it will be a nail in the coffin of club football. The county players are being well looked after; they know when they are playing. The club footballer needs that too.
“Club players will have to speak up,” he said.
If Star games are retained there would only be certainty for six fixtures between the middle of April and the end of August - a period of 15 weeks.
“If club players are sitting on their hands for eight or nine weeks, that is ridiculous,” said Haran.