Whelan in league plea
FORMER Dublin star Ciaran Whelan has called for the introduction of a provincial league system in a bid to promote the GAA's secondary competition, WRITES DONNCHADH BOYLE.
The former All Star believes local rivalries would help boost crowds at league matches and ease the burden on players who are sometimes forced to travel long distances in the current format.
"You're not getting good crowds at National League games between Derry and Cork or Kerry and Donegal. I think some of the trips are needless and local rivalries would work best. From what I've seen, if Dublin were with Meath, Kildare, Laois in a provincial league set-up, I think it would work better.
"Last season we saw an O'Byrne Cup game between Dublin and Meath played on a Wednesday night with 8,000 people.
"If you look at it from a player's perspective, you're asking amateur players to travel long distances on Sundays. And local rivalries -- provincial leagues -- played on Friday and Saturday nights under lights, would add a bit of spice and a bit of appetite."