Dublin's Leah Butler was surprised that the vote to go with a split-season calendar for camogie was as close as it was, while also giving credit to the code's governing body for listening to the wishes of the players.
After unveiling plans to go with a national league/club championship/inter-county championship roadmap, the Camogie Association faced criticism from county players. A GPA poll of such players showed support for a split season similar to the structure in place for the GAA and LGFA. That meant the inter-county season first and then a separate block for the club championship.
That GPA poll revealed that 82% of players voted for the inter-county season to be finished first, with club championship to follow. The ball was then back in the Camogie Association's court, who then took the decision to pause the roll out of its proposed fixtures template to poll its clubs and members.
The poll saw 62% of clubs returning a vote, with 53% voting in favour of the split season and 47% against. The Camogie Association listened.
And so this weekend sees the start of the Littlewoods Ireland National League, with the inter-county championship to follow, before the club scene commences in September.
Butler, speaking at a media event to to support the roll-out of 'AIG BoxClever' insurance for young drivers across Ireland, is happy with the decision that has been arrived it.
"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.
"But I'm happy now that they back-tracked and the decision got changed because I think it suits inter-county 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 [at the same time]. It has worked out in the end. And I'm just delighted the Camogie Association listened to the players' voice."
On the closeness of the vote amongst the club players, the St Jude's player added: "I was surprised. There are 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. But I think there were more positives for the inter-county player with the split season. I was a little bit surprised it was close, but a win is a win for option 2 and the split season."
"I think it's huge progress that the GPA were so involved, the clubs were involved, and the result is the result that most people are happy with"
Butler and her Dublin colleagues begin their league campaign against Kilkenny on Saturday. She wasn't expecting the fixture saga to drag on, and questioned why the Camogie Association went down a different route compared to the other three codes when it came to scheduling.
"I was surprised with that, because the GPA (Gaelic Players Association) sent in the survey where it said 82% of inter-county players would prefer the split season.
"The Camogie Association, well they were considering all players, not just inter-county players. Obviously there's tens of thousands more club players than there is inter-county. 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."
In the end, the Camogie Association did accept the wishes of the majority, voices were listened to, and avenues of communication were explored. A win-win situation for all involved, with Butler concluding that the association could easily have "stuck with their decision".
She continued: "The biggest thing is they listened in the end. I think it's huge progress that the GPA were so involved, the clubs were involved, and the result is the result that most people are happy with. So I think there's learning from that, that they all kind of did work together in the end. That is positive for the Camogie Association and for all the players."
Dublin players Leah Butler, Lyndsey Davey, Davy Keogh and Dean Rock were at Parnell Park to support the roll-out of 'AIG BoxClever' insurance for young drivers across Ireland. BoxClever is an innovative proposition that promotes and rewards safe driving that can help secure lower car insurance premiums. For a quote go to www.aig.ie/box.