Tuesday 26 September 2017

Nobody wants to play in a 'B' competition - Quinlivan

Michael Quinlivan (SPORTSFILE)
Michael Quinlivan (SPORTSFILE)

Michael Verney

The prospect of training all year for just one Championship game doesn't attract Michael Quinlivan, and the Tipperary football star believes that nobody wants to play in a 'second competition'.

Ahead of the motion to introduce a 'B' championship at Congress later this month, Quinlivan feels change is needed but that lower-tier competition is not the solution.

"The current proposal that is on the table doesn't entice me too much," the 22-year-old said. "It could be very difficult if you're playing in Division 4, putting in three nights a week training, knowing that if you lose one game, that's it.

"Nobody wants to play in a second competition. When the GPA canvassed all of the players, none of them wanted a 'B' competition. It would demoralise many counties, nobody wants it."

"The Championship format issue is a huge issue in the GAA at the moment, for everybody, supporters, players, everyone and something definitely has to be done about it."

The Clonmel Commercials clubman was commissioned as GPA Central Council representative for their proposal, which was turned down, and he was unhappy that a composite plan couldn't be developed.

Productive

"Why couldn't they have taken the best out of all of the plans and come forward with their own one?" he asked. "That would have been something productive."

But he knows that change can often be a drawn-out process in our national games.

"The GAA is a democracy. It might take another couple of years before radical change like that is brought in," Quinlivan said. "It's disappointing if you're playing at the time but if you can leave a legacy there, you know, 'we changed the Championship to what it is now'. . . everyone is scared of change until change comes about."

With Clonmel chasing a St Patrick's Day final appearance and the Premier operating in Division 3, the "catastrophic" prospect of Tipperary entering a green-lighted 'B' championship could be very real danger in the near future.

"It would be very hard to motivate yourself to go and play in a 'B' championship, that's the way I would look at it. I think you'd find a lot of players would play the first round and then just go, 'not for me'," said Quinlivan.

"I think you could find that a lot more people would be heading to America for the summers and that sort of thing."

But for now, his only thoughts are of creating more club history,

"Obviously we want to get to the club final and we'll take the punishment with Tipp if that's what happens. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out."

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