TOM CARR has slammed the current format of the pre-season provincial cups as a "disaster", claiming that third-level colleges have taken over the competitions.
The under-pressure boss saw his Cavan charges crash out of the McKenna Cup on Wednesday night, beaten by St Mary's College following Sunday's earlier defeat to Donegal.
But he's furious at how inter-county teams are being squeezed because colleges have first call on their players, and believes county managers would be better off playing challenge matches instead.
"It has got to a ridiculous stage," Carr maintained. "There is a close season now between November and December, and then we come back on January 1 and you find that half your team are with their colleges. In effect, the preparation period for inter-county teams is getting smaller and smaller."
Cavan have been deprived "ten or 11" college-tied players, mostly forwards, and Carr doesn't have the depth of talent to absorb those losses.
"It is only a few years ago that I was asked my opinion would I mind if the colleges entered these competitions, and I said that it was fine," he recalled.
"Then it was a case of if you were not using some of your players, could they play with the colleges? And that was fine.
"Now they are telling the counties what players they can have. They have actually taken over the competition."