THE LADIES GAELIC Football Association [LGFA] have announced that a clearer picture of the 2021 season should be outlined next week.

The dates for the Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues were recently confirmed, with the competition running from 22/23 May to finals weekend on 26/27 June.

Uncertainty reigns over the TG4 All-Ireland championship, however, with no dates or format announced.

Likewise, there is no clarity for club players as to how their season will unfold.

The GAA, meanwhile, recently released a master fixtures plan.

“It is our intention to issue a more detailed communication to Clubs and Counties next week and once further information is available,” today’s Covid-19 update, signed off by CEO Helen O’Rourke reads.

The statement comes after last night’s “positive” Government announcement, in which it was confirmed that adult team training — in pods of 15, including coaches — can return on 10 May, with the inter-county equivalent already back.

From 7 June, and subject to the public health situation at the time, behind-closed-doors club games will be permitted at all levels.

“We need to receive further clarity on aspects of what was announced last evening,” the update adds.

“We are currently liaising with the relevant Departments to seek further information on the finer details of what will be permitted at various points in the recovery plan. For the moment, we would ask for your patience in relation to questions you and the broader membership no doubt have in relation to the various return dates and the specifics of what will be allowed.”

Covid-19 update: 30/04/2021

"It is our intention to issue a more detailed communication to Clubs and Counties next week and once further information is available"@ConnachtLGFA @LeinsterLGFA @MunsterLGFA @UlsterLadies

— Ladies Football (@LadiesFootball) April 30, 2021

Like the GAA, the LGFA are also “seeking clarity” on when inter-county challenge games can commence, along with training for inter-county underage teams, with communication with county secretaries to follow.

“In the interim, we would ask for your patience while we complete this work and we look forward to communicating in detail with you all again as soon as possible in relation to the resumption of Gaelic Games activity.”

Yesterday, Cork captain Doireann O’Sullivan said it was “frustrating” not to have championship dates or formats, or clarity on how the county and club seasons will pan out.

“Now with things opening, girls want to make plans and stuff,” the Mourneabbey forward said at the GPA Return to Training event.

“Myself and my sister Ciara are playing inter-county and club football. My other two sisters, Maebh and Roisin are playing club football so from both sides of it, both club and county players, want fixtures sooner rather than later.

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“I think there was an 82% push and support of the split season. From my point of view anyway, I do find it hard to balance both. You feel guilty I think if your priority is one over the other. And I know trainers and management teams do their best to accommodate players but it’s hard.

“I think we’re only going to see a spike in injuries if we don’t go down the split season road, if we don’t go down that way because girls’ training load… there’ll be a huge spike in training. I think it’s the obvious thing to do.

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Different Backgrounds, One Association.

Thanks to Paul Geaney, Sarah Dervan, Doireann O’Sullivan and Dan Morrissey for taking part in the GPA’s Return to Play event to mark the first season where all senior inter-county players are part of the one player association.

— GPA (@gaelicplayers) April 29, 2021

“I really do hope we get that because from a club girls point of view as well, they’re training maybe two months for one match, then another two months for another match. So from that point of view as well, I do think regular matches and to have dates in the calendar would give players huge motivation and a focus as well because at the moment it is a bit up in the air.”

“I understand they’re [LGFA] in hugely difficult circumstances, we’re in a global pandemic at the end of the day, we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” she added.

“But look, with things kind of reopening and the Government announcement, I do think it’s probably possible that we have some idea. Even if it’s just which is coming first at this stage, that’s all players want to know. And that the dates come maybe at a later date.

“But is it club football, is it county football? I think these are questions that at the end of April now we really should have the answers to.”

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