Phil Flanagan, Chairman of Fermanagh Competition Control Committee (CCC), has highlighted his disappointment surrounding the availability of county players for their clubs in the month of April:

“It was disappointing during the month of April, which has apparently been set aside for county footballers to play with their clubs, that such a small number of county players actually played with their clubs during this time,” Flanagan stated, going on to say that he would not like to see this repeated:

“Fermanagh didn’t play Donegal until the 26th May in Brewster Park, yet throughout April and May, county players missing from club games was the norm. Club fixtures were fixed on the basis that county players would be available to their clubs but for various reasons that did not happen. As a committee and as members of the association, we would not like to see a repeat of this happening in 2020.”

In a wide ranging report Flanagan said that it was the plan to once again hold an end of year review and he is urging clubs and their members to get involved:

“We fully accept that we do not always have all the right answers and may not even be asking the right questions. We intend to once again carry out an end of year review to find out the views of people in the county with regards to how things have been organised and what improvements could be made.”

The CCC will also be looking to be more flexible towards the clubs effected by players participating with the senior county hurlers, but on the other hand clubs can also expect a tightening of the rules in terms of games being called off or rescheduled:

“In 2020, we intend to offer a more considered approach to dealing with clashes between club football and the county hurling team given the overlap in players trying to participate in both codes. This work will take place prior to the publication of the Fixtures Masterplan and we would ask for goodwill from all parties with regards to such matters.” Flanagan said, before adding:

“In 2019, one of the problems we encouraged was the amount of flexibility offered to clubs with regards to the rearranging of games. In 2020, we intend to adopt a much more fixed procedure for re-arranging games, and potential rules under consideration including a requirement for the game to be played within 10 days of the original date or before the next scheduled league game.”

Elsewhere in his report Flanagan drew attention to an incident where a teleporter on a field caused a game to be called off with the CCC Chairman stating:

“Another important learning is a weakness in our competition regulations that allowed a club not to comply with the requirement to notify the Competitions Control Committee of the potential unavailability of their pitch due to the positioning of a teleporter on it and face no penalty for so doing.

“This action prevented a Senior Football League game taking place, the rescheduling of which caused major disruption to the end of the Division Two programme and resulted in the league season being extended by a full week and clubs being impacted in their preparation for the 2019 Championship.

“Without getting into too much detail, it is clear to see that the apparent weakness in the regulations was exploited and we intend to deal with this decisively in 2020.”