Saturday 20 October 2018

Tomás Ó Sé brands provincial championships 'a joke' and says two-tier system is needed to fix football

24 June 2018; Ciarán Kilkenny of Dublin shoots to score his side's first goal during the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Laois at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
24 June 2018; Ciarán Kilkenny of Dublin shoots to score his side's first goal during the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Laois at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Sam Roberts

Tomás Ó Sé says the championship system needs to be revamped after the 'farcical' provincial finals in Munster and Leinster last weekend, and slammed the GAA for consistently being slow to change.

Kerry strolled to a 17-point victory over Cork in the Munster final, while Dublin secured their eighth Leinster title in a row as they crushed Laois by 18 points in Croke Park.

Kerry legend Ó Sé says the championship system is in need of reform after the one-sided provincial finals, and suggested a two-tier system could ensure the top teams are challenged while still giving smaller counties the chance to compete.

"What I would do is I'd scrap the provincials," Ó Sé told The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast.

"My preferred option would be to go with a league and go then based on league results and based on the tables create your two groups of six teams and off you go, and have two going up every year and two going down every year.

"Give them that carrot to actually allow teams in the lower tiers to come up and the Fermanagh's of this world, the Carlow's of this world, would no doubt be up in the top competing for Sam this year, and that's what you want.

"You want more competitive stuff, you don't want stuff like where Monaghan went down and hammered the lard out of Waterford at the weekend.

"This is the downside of top teams playing lower teams, the reality is for Kerry and for Kerry supporters it's great to watch the lovely football they played, it's great to watch the lovely football Dublin always play, but the reality is you're not going to get a competitive game out of them until July, mid-July.

"My problem with the GAA in general any change is massive and it takes such an effort.

"Sean Kelly, the most progressive President in my mind, and the amount of work he had to do to get Croke Park opened, the two-third majority in congress and the whole thing. I hate talking about it to be honest with you because everything in the GAA to change is so slow.

"But Kerry, Dublin, farcical at the weekend really. I said it at the start of the year that the Leinster championship is a joke, it is a joke, the Munster championship is a joke. We thought Cork might put up some battle, but they didn't."

"Cork did not show up in any regard, and it was most disappointing for them. They're better than that but this is the point, when it's needed the most, they seem to crumble."

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