In Pairc Ui Chaoimh on the 7th May, 2019 Cork GAA and Rebel Óg launched an exciting new competition for U14 players in the county.
Under this new structure, eight regional teams were formed broken up into two groups of four teams to play in a league format with the next phase of the competition pitting the top two teams in each group in to the Cup with the third and fourth placed teams entering the Shield.
The structure cast the net far and wide catering for 400 players between hurling and football in games running from May to August in both codes. The teams were drawn up on a geographical basis, but with soft borders on the traditional divisional boundaries to ensure all teams were of a similar standard.
The Rebel Óg Coaching Games Development Administrators have been busy over the last 6 months looking at players and organising internal games to determine appropriate structures to meet the needs of players development at u 14 level in Cork and this new format breaks away from the regional structure used in the past which consisted of 4 regional teams followed by a move to 48 players in hurling who went on to represent Cork at the inter county tournaments.
U14 Regional Football Finals - Sat 24th Aug - Pairc Ui Rinn starting at 10.00am
Speaking at the launch at the time, Cork Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy welcomed the new format noting that “clubs throughout the county should benefit from this structure as there will be more club players involved in a full season of activity at a high level and they will return to their clubs as better players”.
County Coaching Officer Ronan Dwane attended the launch and was very optimistic that the new league format would ensure that “very few players slipped through the net as the increase in teams from 4 to 8 meant that squads were more localised allowing more players to be involved over a full season”.
County Games Manager Kevin O Callaghan feels this is a very exciting move for Cork GAA and “given the size of the county, it is appropriate to cast the net wider given that there is much evidence across the world at this point to indicate that increasing participation in a development programme will result in an improvement in
overall playing standards and a broader pool of players capable of playing at elite level in future years. The move away from formal inter county activity demonstrates a commitment to long term player development rather than short term inter county success which has no correlation with inter county performance in future years. In this context, this new format represents an age appropriate pathway for players to start out at representative level in Cork”.
Games commenced with football on Monday 6th May in and were played over the following dates.
Path of games to the Finals
6th May Group games
18th April Group Games
6th July Group Games
27th July Quarter Finals
10th Aug Semi Finals in Ballyhooley & Pairc Ui Chaoimh
Football Finals – Saturday the 24th Aug in Pairc Ui Rinn