Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney has called upon the GAA to scrap pre-season competitions like the McKenna Cup in favour of extending the National League.
Despite Armagh’s impressive early season form that has seen them win all three of their McKenna Cup group games, McGeeney feels that teams would benefit more from home and away league matches rather than the traditional January competition.
Even though his side has booked a last four meeting with Donegal, the former All-Ireland winning captain told BBC Sport that he would prefer to be playing more competitive games instead.
“It would be a far better thing for everybody. I think we don’t do anything to promote our games,” said McGeeney.
“If we could do home and away games then we could do more to promote the games and get more people to see it – that’s what we are are looking for.
“We want more competitive games. We have seven games really to try things out and it’s too short a time. Basically, seven or eight weeks after this – for the majority of people – 95% of their season is over.”
Last year saw the GAA change championship formats in order to condense the season and free up more time for clubs. McGeeney – who has already criticised the GAA experimental rule changes – feels that playing a longer National League that feeds straight into Championship season is the way forward.
“Everybody keeps complaining about the county season, but it gets smaller and smaller, and it’s still trying to compete with two or three things,” added the Orchard County boss.
“For me, I just think that if you played seven home games and seven away games in the national league, [over] three months, just play the Championship straight after it and finish the Championship by the end of July or beginning of August.
“There would be no quibbles between club and county, but we seem to think we have to play in September to go up against other sports or for whatever reason they have for that I’m not really sure.”
McGeeney’s Armagh will take on Declan Bonner’s Donegal side this Sunday in the McKenna Cup semi-final at Healy Park, Omagh.