Monday 19 March 2018

Rival managers approve championship change

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Donegal manager Rory Gallagher. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher has welcomed the introduction of an All-Ireland quarter-final round-robin series after Congress gave it approval over the weekend.

His Dublin counterpart Jim Gavin has also given it tentative approval, believing it to be a step towards broader change.

"The proposals haven't changed much," said Gavin. "All any team is guaranteed is nine games in the season. I think we all accept that isn't good enough. We're looking for strong leadership from Croke Park. I think Páraic Duffy has given it in this case - as he did back in 2000 when he got the qualifiers (passed). I recall a lot of angst around the country about that and that was proven a success.

"So I would hope that there's a broader plan, and this might be a phase of that broader plan. I would hope that the ard-stiúrthóir and Croke Park would come out strongly and articulate what the vision is.

"I think anything that's good for club players, and that's the aim of it I believe, to make more of a gap for club activities, you can only promote that."

Gallagher is more supportive, going against his playing squad in that regard. "I personally think it is well worth the experiment. You have to try new things and to reinvigorate things.

"There is no doubt, some of the quarter-finals have been dead ducks. Funny, our players were against it, they voted with the GPA against it. They just didn't want it. But I feel that you want the best teams playing against each other as often as possible. I think if we got Dublin in a quarter-final here or Mayo here or likewise us going there, I think it would be great for our supporters and very fair."

Irish Independent

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