Killian Young backs GAA's 'Super 8' proposal as step in the right direction
KERRY ace Killian Young says the GAA’s creation of a ‘Super 8’ is a “step in the right direction” and believes it will rejuvenate the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and benefit club football next season.
Despite the GPA and CPA rejecting the controversial proposal at Congress – a round robin series at the quarter-final stages – Young is a firm supporter of the idea.
“You can’t change everything overnight,” said the Kerry defender.
“It’s step by step but it’s a step in the right direction. I think it’s a good thing for the GAA and from the club point of view.
“It gets clubs playing games earlier rather than at the end of November and early December which is a very long season.
"So I think overall it’s a step in the right direct but only just one step.”
Improving the ratio between training sessions and games was one of the key reasons why Young supported the Central Council’s ‘Super 8’ proposal.
“I was talking to [GPA chief] Dermot Early this morning. What I was saying to Dermot was I’m very happy with the ‘Super 8’, but of course that’s looking at it from a Division One or Division Two county [perspective] and they’re obviously going to be happy with that proposal.
“From Division Three and Division Four, I said to Dermot that something needs to be done there because that’s what we’re trying to do – we’re trying to bring down the ratio of training sessions to games and the 'Super 8' is a great thing.
“You’re going to get more games in the calendar year and taking away September, getting more club games in and having both [All-Ireland] semi-finals on the same weekend is a massive boost as well.”
Meanwhile, Kerry minds will be fully focussed ahead of their Division One glamour clash with All-Ireland champions and perennial rivals Dublin in Tralee in nine days time.
The Kingdom have been typically erratic in the early rounds of the Allianz League.
After dismissing Donegal in their opener they lost back-to-back home games to Mayo and Monaghan before banking their second win of the campaign against Roscommon last weekend.
The Dubs are on an incredible 33-game unbeaten run in League and Championship and are chasing their fifth consecutive Division One title.
“There’s a lot of excitement about the Dublin game,” said Young. “People have been talking about it for the last three weeks with tickets and so on, and it’s well and truly sold out at this stage.
“I haven’t been monitoring their unbeaten record but we’re hoping to get a win on the night. It’s something we want to do. It’s home advantage for us as well. Hopefully we’ll be able to stop them next Saturday night in Tralee.”
Young also confirmed that Kieran Donaghy is still on track to play for Kerry towards the end of the National League campaign despite being called up to the Irish basketball team.
With the blessing of Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, ‘Star has been allowed to concentrate on his basketball career with Tralee Warriors this winter, and has been rewarded for his excellent displays with a national call-up.
But it won’t affect his return to the Kingdom colours as the Irish basketballers don't compete again until 2018.
“I don’t know what the format of it is but I do know that he’s keen to come back to Kerry,” said Young.
“He has one eye on Kerry already and he’s been training away with us in the gym so it’s not like he’s a million miles away from us. He has one foot in already.
"His basketball has given him a real edge and I’m sure his handling will be help as well. And he’ll be mentally fresh as well when he comes back to Kerry.”
Young was speaking at yesterday’s unique official link-up between the RNLI Lifeboats and the GAA in a 'Respect the Water' campaign.
The initiative will be supported through the GAA's Healthy Clubs and the wider club network.
Speaking at yesterday's launch, Aogan O Fearghail said: "In the RNLI the GAA sees an organisation that mirrors its core values of community activity and volunteerism.
"We welcomes the 'Respect the Water campaign and its efforts to keep people safe all year round."
A launch video is available to watch at rnli.org/news-and-media