Tuesday 20 February 2018

Club Players survey voices opposition to 'Super 8s'

Cormac Reilly came in for criticism for his handling of the Kerry/Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay in 2014. Photo: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Cormac Reilly came in for criticism for his handling of the Kerry/Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay in 2014. Photo: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A majority of club players are not in favour of the All-Ireland quarter-final round robin series, introduced at Congress last month.

Survey results compiled by the Club Players Association and released yesterday show that just over 60pc of the 4,983 who responded were not in favour of the additional eight championship games which have become known as the 'Super 8s'.

The proposal for change got 75pc approval from Congress delegates in Croke Park but was opposed by the Gaelic Players Association who revealed that three-quarters of its membership that responded were against it.

Now, the CPA have given further illustration of their opposition with just 12.10pc giving it approval. Some 27.77pc were unsure of their support or opposition to it.

The result is not surprising, given the level of player opposition voiced around the time of Congress.

options Other questions asked in the poll focused on engagement with club meetings. Over 80pc had been to a club annual general meeting, while 66.67pc had been to a club committee meeting.

Asked from a menu of options what three improvements they would like to see, the outcome was again not surprising.

An unchangeable and predictable fixtures schedule was prioritised by 71.78pc. Regular games during the summer (45.57pc) and a defined holiday period (40.92pc) were other popular choices.

The CPA survey also asked respondents for general comment which they released with much focus on the same answers but a desire for a shorter inter-county season was a recurring theme. From 2018 the All-Ireland football final will be played at least three weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, Cormac Reilly has been listed to take charge of the Mayo-Donegal match in Castlebar on Sunday, a match that the home side must draw or win to ensure they avoid relegation.

Reilly has not refereed a Mayo match since the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final replay defeat to Kerry, after which he was heavily criticised by Mayo supporters for his performance.

Irish Independent

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