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Liam Kearns Highlights One Major Drawback Of Championship Restructure

Tipperary senior football manager Liam Kearns has expressed doubt over how the new championship structures in both football  and hurling will affect the club game.

The football championship will include the Super 8s, where a round-robin system will replace the straight quarter-finals, whereas the provincial championships in hurling will see each county guaranteed at least four matches.

While the All-Ireland finals are going to be played in August to give counties a chance to play out their local championships, the former Limerick manager believes that ‘club windows’ will not work.

The idea is that in between the league and provincial championships, the opening rounds of county championships will be played.

This isn’t a notion the Kerryman buys into.

The weeks leading up to the championship include intense preparation and it is unlikely that managers will want their players competing in club championship games in the build up to the provincial competitions.

He told Tipp FM (quotes via Jackie Cahill in the Irish Independent):

“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?

“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.

Kearns led the Premier all the way to an All-Ireland semi-final in 2016 and another run would potentially be detrimental to the club game – particularly in a dual county such as Tipp.

This could lead to a situation where club championships are only starting in September – especially if more managers like Kearns express doubt in releasing players in April.

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Check out the latest episode of The 16th Man where we debated the new structure to the hurling championships and spoke with new Donegal manager Declan Bonner.

https://soundcloud.com/punditarenagaa/we-review-the-hurling-changes-and-speak-to-declan-bonner

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.