GAA Football

“If I've to watch another Cork-Kerry Munster final for the 60th time in a row, I'll need a bullet in the head."

London football manager Ciarán Deely.

LONDON manager and former Wexford captain Ciaran Deely believes the GAA has to look at the value of its league system in terms of sorting out its championship structures.

The National Leagues kicked off at the weekend and out of 16 football games, two were draws and nine were decided by three points or less.

Deely’s Exiles travel to Derry this weekend for a Division Four game that he says will be the best preparation he can get for a summer meeting with last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists Galway, a situation he says is “ridiculous”.

The GAA’s provincial championship structures remain in place despite the dwindling competitiveness and consequence in terms of the overall All-Ireland series.

“I’m a big believer in a league basis in the GAA. Whether that’s a B championship, and that has to be sorted out.

“Look at last weekend and all the great games, Monaghan-Dublin, Kerry-Tyrone, the battle and how competitive they are.

“If I’ve to watch another Cork-Kerry Munster final for the 60th time in a row, I’ll need a bullet in the head. It’s got so boring.

“Look at Leinster, it’s not good for Dublin or anyone else. If you took Dublin out of Leinster, it would be a brilliant competition because you have a lot of teams of similar ability.

“Look at practically every other sport in the world, you have teams of similar ability competing against each other, there’s promotion and relegation and it’s great.

“I won a club intermediate with my club in Wexford this year, it was celebrated hugely, maybe not to the level as when we were winning seniors but it was celebrated.

“If we’d been senior I probably wouldn’t have gone back playing, but I thought I could just about compete at intermediate. Same with a lot of our young players.

“Teams of similar ability, budgets, demographics should be competing against each other, and it’s a better competition for everybody.”

*See pages 68-69 for full interview

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