The St. Mary’s Basketball Club committee has reacted strongly to a statement made by their senior women’s coach Liam Culotti – with support from their players – refuting claims made by them regarding the team’s withdrawal from the Super League. for suture.
The Castlesland-based club made the decision to withdraw from the Women’s Super League before last weekend and informed Basketball Ireland and then local media about that decision.
Then late last Tuesday (14 June) Liam Culotti made a statement via Twitter, saying he was disappointed that the decision was made without consultation with him or the players, and also that the decision to withdraw was made via text message. The players and management were informed through the medium. , He also stated that enough players were committed to the team for the next season, which contradicted the main reason the club withdrew, which stated that there was a lack of senior players to make up the team.
Now, through a second statement, St Mary’s committee has strongly denied calling Kalotei’s statement “mistakes”, while also providing more details on the decision to withdraw from the Super League.
St. Mary’s Club’s statement released on June 11:
‘scheduled tribe. Marie Basketball has made the difficult decision not to compete in the Women’s Super League next season. While we realize this is disappointing news for Kerry Basketball, we didn’t have the numbers needed to make the team. The club plans to rebuild over the next few years and hope to compete again at the national level in the near future. We would like to thank our sponsor Garvey’s Supervalu, our dedicated players, coaching staff and our amazing supporters.
Team coach Liam Culotti’s statement from June 14:
‘As a group of players and management, we would like to express our shock and disappointment at the decision of the Financial Committee of our club to withdraw our team from the Women’s Superleague for the upcoming season.
‘Over the past five years we have traveled across the country competing at Division 1 level, and when the opportunity came to gain promotion to the Superleague last season we were happy to accept it and play basketball at the highest level in this country . We were the first Kerry team to play in the Women’s Superleague in 16 years.
‘We felt that as a group we needed to make this statement for two reasons. Firstly, the message that was released in the media over the weekend was that we didn’t have enough players to make a team. We currently have eight Irish players from across the county who are fully committed to playing the Superleague and we hoped to have one or two professional players as well as some fantastic young talent to emerge in the county that we have more than capable The team will compete. I wish we were never given this opportunity to recruit more players in the team.
‘Second, and most disappointingly, the message that the club was withdrawing from the Superleague was distributed via text message to both the players and the management, with no effort being made to meet with the players and management and they The media was informed about the decision before it was released. Saturday. At least we felt we wanted the opportunity to fight our corner and see if a solution could be worked out to allow the team to stay in the league.
“We definitely experienced a lot of ups and downs in the season last year. We competed for 70% of the season without any professional players. The establishment of a Superleague team in Kerry has fulfilled a dream and paved a way for women’s basketball players in Kerry. The presence of so many young players from across the county at our home games after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted is a testament to the impact the team has made. We are deeply sorry that in the coming season we will not have the opportunity to advance the game among the basketball fraternity in Kerry.
St. Mary’s Club statement released on 21 June:
‘Unfortunately, we had to respond to a statement issued via Twitter by our Super League Ladies team coach Liam Culotti, as it contained inaccuracies.
‘scheduled tribe. Mary’s Basketball Club is very supportive of our women’s teams, including our Super League women’s team and what they have achieved over the years. The club fully supported the team during one stint in the division and in promotion to the Super League. St Mary’s was proud to play back at the top level. Players were, as they have always been by the club, seen financially for any out-of-pocket expenses related to their travels to the game.
Contrary to what is being said on Twitter, St. Mary’s is a local club and not a county set-up, not a Kerry team. Reading this statement it appears that the coach had ambitions for a Kerry set up for this, yet this was something that was never brought up for discussion with the St Mary’s Club who were funding the team.
‘scheduled tribe. Mary’s ambition is to provide an outlet for her girls and boys of all ages to play basketball and play at the highest level where possible. In recent years we have had a limited number of underage players. The decision to pull out of the Super League was not taken without much thought. The coach of the team was aware that there was pressure on the club to respond to the Women’s Board before a meeting on 13/06/22.
‘We are a club team, our first loyalty is to our club and the members of the club, while we are, and have always been in the past, the Links are happy to welcome players, during the recent discussions any part of the There was no individual player from The county’s club expressed interest for a link or indeed a transfer for the next season. Negotiations were held with the coach regarding player numbers, the opportunity to recruit has been around since the end of the 21/22 season.
‘A phone call was placed on Friday 10/06/22 to inform the coach about the decision not to continue in the Super League. The call went unanswered and was not returned, with a text message being sent as Basketball Ireland’s deadline approached. However, before this, the coach was aware and involved in the discussion and several club meetings were held on the issue.
The club regrets that the players were made aware of the decision via text message. The message thanked the players for their dedication over the years and apologized that the players were not meeting in person. A member of the committee also called up all the players the next day.
Team members have been contacted again, apologized for being told by text and given the opportunity to meet face-to-face if they wish.
‘Players and coaches were informed of the decision to withdraw the press release 30.5 hours before it was sent to the media and 24 hours before the Women’s Board of Basketball Ireland. In the meantime, no one has contacted the club to request a reconsideration of the decision.
The number of players was discussed with the coach and on Wednesday, 1 June, at a meeting at the Castleisland Community Centre, the coach informed the St Mary’s President and Vice President that only six players were available. Asked whether the club should approach the players, he was told “no, there is no need” by Mr Kalotei. No other was signed or agreed upon but the possibility of a link was mentioned.
Club members were contacted (senior, under 20 and under 18) and informed the club that they were not interested in playing at this time. At this meeting the coach also informed the club president that he would not be interested in coaching for the 22/23 season until two professional players were engaged. The chairman informed the coach that it was unlikely the club would agree to it due to the huge cost involved but that he would bring it up in a meeting.
‘The estimated cost of bringing in two professional players, taking into account flights, wages, food and accommodation, would be in the region of €25,000. At a financial meeting on 09/06/22, it was decided that the club could not afford this cost. The decision to pull out of the league was made due to cost, uncertainty of having a coach and lack of players.
The ‘one or two professionals’ comment on Twitter is misleading. No other interested players came forward or the club was informed. A basketball team made up of 12 players would normally be licensed for the year, with many more players to cover times of injury or absence.
‘Our club has a large number of teams and must deal with all finances in a responsible manner to ensure the continuity of St Mary’s Basketball Club Castlesland. Last season, St. Mary’s had 13 women’s and 12 men’s teams.
‘scheduled tribe. Marie played at the highest level in Ireland in the early 90s with the women’s and men’s teams. We returned with the duo in the early 2000s and enjoyed huge success. Our men’s team continued till 2014. Our ladies had opted out, but once again came back and won the league in 2012. After another short break, he made a comeback and won the All-Ireland club in 2016. The return to division came after one, having been league runners-up in 2019/20 before being invited to the Women’s Super League.
‘This club is ambitious, we aim for the highest level but when it is not possible to compete, we take a break to regroup and build on our return.’