Tuesday 16 January 2018

Who'll tell Kildare they can't compete for Sam?

Jason Ryan
Jason Ryan
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Peter Canavan and Jim McGuinness are among those who favour a two-tier All-Ireland football championship, albeit in a slightly different format.

The common thread is that only 16 counties would compete for the Sam Maguire Cup, with 16 others playing in the second-tier competition.

If that system were in place this year, Kildare would not now be preparing for the All-Ireland quarter-final, as they would be ranked outside the top 16, after being relegated from Division 2. Yet Kildare beat Cork, who topped Division 1, by eight points.

Westmeath joined Kildare on the Division 2 relegation boat, so despite reaching the Leinster final, they too would have missed the cut. So too Sligo, despite beating Roscommon, who will be Division 1 next season.

It's great to see so many ideas being put forward for championship restructuring ahead of a Central Council discussion in November, but the Kildare situation, in particular, underlines the difficulty when leagues and championships are linked.

Besides, the option of competing for the Sam Maguire Cup has to be available to all.

Would you like to be the one to tell Jason Ryan and Kildare that they weren't good enough to give it a go?

Glynn may rue adding the spice too early

Johnny Glynn's colourful rejection on RTE last Sunday of a suggestion that the Galway attack might have been regarded as a one-man show seems to have attracted as much attention as his excellent performance.

It shows that the sauce, if sufficiently spicy, can sometimes attract more attention than the meat.

Glynn's comment was made within seconds of the final whistle, when, shall we say, a more reflective version might have been offered if the interview had been conducted some time later.

Anyway, it has gained him lots of notoriety, not for what he said, but how he said it.

Personally, I prefer to deal with the former than latter, since it's more relevant.

A frothy delivery of his point doesn't alter the reality that the view of the Galway attack being overly reliant on Joe Canning for a long time came about for a reason: it was true.

That changed against Cork when Canning's colleagues scored 2-23 between them from open play, but was it a one-off or the start of a new trend?

After all, they managed only 1-7 (Canning hit 1-8) against Kilkenny in the Leinster final.

Beating Cork re-ignited Galway's season but I suspect that Anthony Cunningham would have preferred if had Glynn avoided a response - stridently put or otherwise - on the relative merits of the attack before it takes on the Tipperary defence.

Irish Independent

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