Last Sunday’s GAA Convention left delegates with much to ponder as they made their way home after a lengthy agenda was successfully negotiated.
By Philip Rooney
Television replays, player burn-out and playing club games outside the county were all discussed at length but they seemed like minor issues when it came to discussing the big issue of the day, namely the motion to change the format for the club championships.
The biggest talking point of the afternoon was the fact that next year’s club Senior, Intermediate and Junior A championships will be restructured.
The existing format of four groups of three teams will be replaced by three groups of four teams. The top two teams will advance to the quarter-finals, as had previously been the case. In the quarter-finals, they will be joined by the best third placed team, while the other two third placed teams will enter a play-off. The winner of that place will secure the last quarter-final place while the loser will join those who finished fourth in their groups in the relegation semi-finals.
Before the motion, County Board, Chairman Joe Flynn addressed the convention saying “This would have far reaching consequences for football in Leitrim.”
The motion was proposed by St Mary’s Kiltoghert with delegate Joe Flynn arguing, “If you lose your first match, you are as good as out. If you’re not playing the first week it is a big disadvantage. The new system would see teams play on the same day and the final matches would be played at the same time.”
Glencar/Manorhamilton chairman Patrick McMorrow argued against the motion saying “The current format has served us well and we would be against it. We lost the first game this year and the rest is history so to say losing the first game means you are out is untrue.”
Declan Bohan outlined the manner in which teams who finish level are separated saying teams won’t be eliminated on scoring difference under the new format.
After the motion was carried, Joe Flynn stated “There is a lot of wisdom in the room which was evident teasing out the motion and I do believe it will improve the standard of football.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.