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GAA players giving it their all at the Gaelic Park, in the Bronx, New York Photo by: Google Images

New transfer rules may stop GAA players coming to New York for summer season

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GAA players giving it their all at the Gaelic Park, in the Bronx, New York Photo by: Google Images

Teams competing in the New York GAA could be severely impacted by new transfer rules that Croke Park bosses plan on implementing for next year’s season. The rules would prohibit players from obtaining sanctions to play with New York teams for the summer months.

A number of top county players in Ireland have made the move to New York clubs after their counties have been eliminated from the Championship at home. The GAA wants to crack down on the practice, according to director-general Paraic Duffy.

“Last year there was a lot of controversy after Armagh were beaten in the Championship – a number of Armagh players went to New York and played in the Championship,” Duffy told the
Sun.

“Central Council was very unhappy with that at the time, and management proposed to Central Council then that the rule that applies in North America, that only students can go, would be  extended to New York. The New York board asked us not to do that. They said they would police this system themselves and it would not happen again. But it has happened again.”

Duffy pointed out that Irish students have been free to transfer to clubs that are members of the North American County Board, but this provision doesn’t apply to New York. The student rule, he said, won’t change.

“If you are a third level student you are free to go. It is worth pointing out that the GAA recognizes it is part of the student experience to go abroad during the summer,” Duffy told the Sun.

“So any student who has played in the Championship is free to go and get a sanction to play in North America. That rule at the moment doesn’t apply in New York.”

Duffy also criticized Irish-based players who come to New York to play, even when their clubs at home are still part of the Championship.

“Players have gone with their teams still in the Championship, they have headed off to New York, so Central Council met last Saturday fortnight and took a decision on a recommendation of management, to bring a motion to Congress next year to extend the rule that relates to New York as well,” Duffy said.

“What that would mean is if it is passed by Congress next year any full-time student that plays in Championship and decides to go to America would be allowed to go. That’s part of the student experience.

“Other players who have played in the Championship or been on a Championship panel will not be given a sanction to play in New York just as they are not allowed go to the rest of North America at the moment.”

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