Wednesday 18 October 2017

Connacht praise plans for provincial rebalance

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Connacht Council secretary John Prenty has welcomed the Football Review Committee's proposal to retain the provincial championships while seeking to rebalance them into four groups of eight.

Connacht will welcome two teams to its provincial championship if the FRC proposal is ever brought to life, and Prenty believes that can only be good for the teams already there.

"We're happy that the integrity of the provincial championships has been retained," Prenty said.

"It will do no harm if there are a couple of extra games."

The presence of New York in the Connacht championship does, however, create an anomaly which would lead to the establishment of a nine-team province.

FRC chairman Eugene McGee admitted it was "obviously an unusual situation".

"New York can only play in New York and we're leaving it completely to the discretion of the Connacht Council. It has always been their remit and no matter happens, whatever changes there are to our suggestions, it will still be Connacht's remit and they'll have to handle it themselves," said McGee.

However, Prenty says there will be no threat to New York if the FRC proposal is carried in its current format.

The New York fixture against one of five rotating opponents could still be played on the first weekend of May as a preliminary fixture in Connacht.

New York don't participate in qualifiers; potential problems will only arise if they win a match at some stage.

The losers in that instance would have to play a preliminary first-round qualifier.

Irish Independent

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