Tuesday 22 August 2017

Super 8 is a 'backward step' for Championship - O'Dwyer

Mick ODwyer. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Mick ODwyer. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Mick O'Dwyer has questioned the decision to replace the All-Ireland football quarter-finals with the Super 8 series, describing it as a 'backward step' for the Championship.

The most successful manager in football history is an advocate of scrapping the provincial championships in favour of an open draw and believes that a big opportunity has been lost.

"If the system was going to be changed, it should have been changed for everyone," said the Kerry legend. "I have always been a great believer in trying new things but this does nothing other than create some extra games for eight counties.

"We know who the bulk of them will be most years so what's in it for the weaker counties? They are the ones that need to be helped."

O'Dwyer is opposed to the principle of introducing a round-robin to the latter stages of the Championship

"League is League and Championship is Championship but now we have a small league to decide who gets to the semi-finals. I don't like it," he said.

"On top of that, it will make it much harder for counties outside the top few to get to the semi-finals. It was great to see Tipperary there last year. Fermanagh and Wexford got there over the years too but it will be much harder for counties like that from next year on.

"I just cannot figure how it was decided that the only change the championship needed was more games for some teams. What about the rest?" he said.

Meanwhile, he doesn't believe that despite the historic dimension to Saturday's night Kerry-Dublin clash in Tralee the outcome will have any bearing on the rest of the year.

Dublin are attempting to equal Kerry's record of going unbeaten for 34 successive matches, which has generated huge interest.

"There's always a buzz around Kerry-Dublin games anyway but whatever happens on Saturday, it won't mean much later on.

"The league is a grand competition but all that ever matters is the championship," he said.

Irish Independent

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