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A 10-team Division 1 would not work

THE current National League format is the hot topic for debate at the moment.

Many leading figures have called for a 10-team Division 1 but I'd favour a revamped system of two groups of six. Mix the groups up with stronger and weaker teams and let the top four from each section make it through to the quarter-finals.

I thought that Division 1A was hugely enjoyable this year, but teams like Limerick, Offaly, Wexford and Antrim should be exposed to a higher level of hurling. They need more exposure and to play against the bigger teams. My argument against a 10-team league is that there simply isn't enough time to run it off if you start in February.

And I'd also question if there is any need to have pre-season tournaments like the Waterford Crystal Cup in Munster and the Walsh Cup in Leinster? The way the Irish climate is now, the weather in January is almost as bad as April and you're wasting weekends early in the year with the secondary provincial competitions.

Push them back to November or December or get rid of them altogether. Start the season with the National Hurling League and give it the time and space that it merits.

It won't take a lot of tweaking to the calendar, but somebody needs to bite the bullet and get it done.

Irish Independent