Friday 20 September 2019

Kearns says it's time to grasp nettle on competition structures

Tipperary manager Liam Kearns. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Tipperary manager Liam Kearns. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Donnhadh Boyle

Liam Kearns believes some hard decisions will have to be made regarding the GAA calendar.

The Tipperary manager leads his side into Munster SFC action against Limerick in Semple Stadium on Saturday night. And with Kerry already installed as 1/14 shots to claim an 81st Munster title, it feels like little more than a long coronation.

"I think it's a broader question," Kearns replied when asked if the Munster SFC had run its course.

"I think the whole thing needs to be looked at from start to finish. Everybody has their own agenda. Croke Park, the colleges, the provincial councils, the National Leagues, they all have agendas in relation to different competitions. And until somebody comes in with no agenda and looks at the whole thing and calls it like it should be, with the players are the forefront of their interests, then I think you've got a problem. Maybe it will happen now because there is a lot of talk about it and maybe the nettle will be grasped at some stage."

And he insists any attempt to introduce a second tier in football will have to be handled delicately.

"It could work if it was approached properly, but if it isn't and it's treated as second class, I don't think the players have any appetite for it. I'm only talking from dealing with the players I've dealt with. That's my view.

"Certainly the Tipperary boys, when we barely survived in Division 3 in the league and lost four or five to Australia, my boys weren't talking about not beating Cork in a Munster semi-final that year, and we did. And then we lost to Kerry, but we beat Derry, we beat Galway in Croke Park, and we took on Mayo and we more than held our own there (in an All-Ireland semi-final). We only used 16 or 17 players so that will tell you it can be done."

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