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Dublin Camogie star Leah Butler says she is delighted the association backtracked on original season plans
Dublin's Leah Butler discusses the controversy surrounding the Camogie Association's plans for the 2021 season, explains why she feels they ultimately arrived at the correct result, and outlines the benefit of getting players' voices heard
Last Updated: 13/05/21 2:30pm
Following a tumultuous fortnight for the Camogie Association, the 2021 season plans are now set in stone.
The original format was dismissed by intercounty players, and following the polling of clubs, 53 per cent decided to move to a plan which is in line with the GAA and LGFA seasons this year.
There was significant strife before they reached this point, with intercounty players even threatening to boycott the National League if the association persisted with their original plans.
"I think if we had to go there, we would have," said Dublin's Leah Butler of the strike threat.
"But it would have been a huge group decision, between maybe the intercounty managers would have come together, or the player reps or whoever. I don't think that one county might have gone on strike on their own, but if it would have happened, it would have been a full intercounty decision."
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The initial Camogie Association announcement came as a shock.
"I was a bit surprised because the GAA announced quite a while ago now that they were going with the split season, so to get the structure that we got, I was kind of surprised," Butler said.
"But I'm happy now that they back-tracked and the decision got changed because I think it suits intercounty players to have the split season, to have a defined county season and a defined club season.
"As well, a lot of players play dual, they play football for their club as well as Camogie. So they wouldn't have been able to play their games in the opposite code, if they were playing championship with county and club championship [at the same time]. It has worked out in the end. And I'm just delighted the Camogie Association listened to the players' voice. I think a lot of people are happy now."
The Camogie Association's polling of clubs produced a close result, with 47 per cent in favour of backing the original plan.
"There's a lot of clubs in Ireland that are Camogie only, so it might not have affected them. There were positives for having the structures they did release," Butler said.
"But I think there were more positives for the intercounty player with the split season. I was a little bit surprised it was close, but a win is a win for Option 2 with the split season.
"The WGPA sent in the survey where it said 82 per cent of intercounty players would prefer the split season. But the Camogie Association, they were considering all players, not just intercounty players.
"Obviously there's tens of thousands more club players than there is intercounty players. So that's where their decision came from. But it was surprising their decision was different to the three other codes. That's just the way it went. But I'm glad it's reversed now."
Despite the uncertainty in the build-up to the opening weekend given the boycott threat, the Dubs concentrated on their preparations.
"We remained focus on our game this weekend against Kilkenny," she said. "We obviously were aware of what was going on. But this game is going to be huge for us. So we were focused on that, and we kind of left all the work to the WGPA then with the Camogie Association, with regards to reversing the decision."