Saturday 24 March 2018

Tipp boss Liam Kearns warns of championship 'chaos'

Liam Kearns. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Liam Kearns. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Tipperary senior football manager Liam Kearns has warned of potential "chaos" when the restructured senior hurling and football championships come into play next year.

The 'Super 8' system will be introduced for the All-Ireland senior football championship, while a revamped hurling format was confirmed last weekend, with round-robin systems in place for Munster and Leinster.

Fears have been expressed about the future of the club scene and while counties will look to get some of their fixtures run off in the month of April, Kearns doesn't believe that will be feasible.

He told Tipp FM: "They're talking about the championship starting in the first week of May. Are they seriously saying we're going to release players to the clubs for the whole of April, and then play the first round of the championship in May?

Read more: 'System remains broken for clubs'

"That doesn't work. The month before championship is a crucial month and I really don't know how it's going to work. Is every county going to release their players back to clubs for the whole of April, and then start from scratch again in May? I don't think this has been thought out very well and there could be a lot of chaos in relation to this. Until we see what the plans are and how it's going to be structured, we don't know for sure."

Read more: Sequencing crucial in new hurling world

Kearns, who has signed up for two more years in the Premier County, is hopeful of continuing the progress made to date. In his two seasons, Tipp reached an All-Ireland semi-final before gaining promotion to Division 2 of the Allianz League. He admits that Tipp "over-achieved" in 2016, when they reached the last four of the All-Ireland series before bowing out to Mayo.

Ahead of the 2017 campaign, Kearns introduced 17 new players to his squad, which he says was "too many." And he reflected: "We targeted promotion from Division 3, which we achieved, but after the league we didn't have our team right. We lost Evan Comerford to suspension and seven or eight of our key players were carrying injuries and knocks that we never had fit."

Irish Independent

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