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Tierney - "Changes will make league more competitive"


New Cork Constitution coach Tom Tierney believes the reform of the Ulster Bank League will make for a more competitive 2014/15 campaign.

The new system will see the top four finishers in the league battle it out in two semi-finals, and former Ireland international Tierney reckons this will make every game count.

"Each match this year is going to be a cup final. There is superb quality in the teams and it is going to be a great league with the play-offs being brought back in," he said.

"I think it is a great call from the IRFU to reinstate the play-off - I think it is definitely something that all the clubs wanted apart from the teams that were winning the league by 20 or 30 points."

The 38-year-old was appointed head coach at Temple Hill in May following three seasons in charge of Munster rivals Garryowen.

Con kick off their AIL season away to Old Belvedere in eight days and Tierney knows the threat that last year's Division 1A runners-up will pose.

"They were very unlucky last year to be missing a number of key players for that match against Garryowen, and if they had won they would have been champions. The quality they have from both a player and coaching point of view . . . it could not get any harder," he continued.

"We know the players, obviously we know the coaching up there as well from my own days in Garryowen with Paul Cunningham. You know what you are going to get against them - they are going to be a very tough opposition but we try to focus on ourselves and work from there.

"Sometimes knowing that you have got one of the most difficult matches first up in the league, it really focuses the mind. The management and the players are really itching to get going and they really want to make sure they get the basics right."

Irish Independent