| 16°C Dublin

Hurling needs to expand its horizons - Liam Sheedy

Hurling 2020 committee chairman Liam Sheedy insists the ultimate aim of his body is to raise standards and increase participation levels nationwide.

The former Tipperary All-Ireland winning manager's work-group produced a report containing 15 proposals to improve the game, but he was keen to stress its priority is to spread the gospel beyond its traditional boundaries.

"Let's be open; let's also recognise that 15 of the last 16 All-Ireland finals have been won by three counties. That's 94pc and is that ultimately good for our game?" he asked.

The report states that as an organisation that "aims to promote hurling and football equally, we have been doing the game of hurling an injustice for a long time."

As part of the recommendations contained in the report, the committee called for the appointment of a full-time National Director of Hurling, to help hurling establish an foothold in outposts of the game.

They also want the removal of promotion-relegation play-offs between in both league and championship and recommends that the Christy Ring competition be played over seven weeks instead of five.

Sheedy and Co also called for the final of that competition be played as a curtain-raiser to a major Liam MacCarthy cup game to help boost the game's profile in those counties.

"If we're serious about hurling and we want to build the game, we've really got to see how do we expand the game?

"Give every child an opportunity, within those counties, to play the game of hurling. It's part of our culture.

"The number one priority for this committee is growing the game."

Irish Independent