Thursday 12 December 2019

Canty's optimism not borne out by history

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Graham Canty has painted an optimistic picture of what life in Division 2 of the Allianz Football League can offer counties that drop down from the top flight.

Cork, who won the Division 1 three-in-a-row in 2010-'12, will be in Division 2 this year and Canty (right) believes that while ideally the top group is the place to be, life in the second tier "won't have a hugely negative effect on them".

The 2010 All-Ireland-winning captain said that it will allow Cork to re-build in a less competitive environment before moving on to the championship. It looks like a reasonable argument, yet stats show that most teams relegated from Division 1 don't do well in the following year's championship.

Indeed, over the last eight years, Donegal in 2014 and Tyrone last year were the only teams to win provincial titles in the year after they were relegated. Donegal were the only team to advance beyond the All-Ireland quarter-final, reaching the 2014 final where they lost to Kerry.

Of the 16 relegated counties over eight years, only four reached the All-Ireland quarter-final in the following year. That's not very encouraging for Cork or Down, both of whom were relegated last year. Cork failed to qualify for the quarter-finals last year for the first time since 2004, losing to Tipperary in the Munster semi-final and to Donegal in the qualifiers.

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