THE CONTROVERSIAL PROPOSAL to create an All-Ireland B football championship has been described as ‘an absolute disaster’ by one of Tipperary’s brightest young football talents.
Defender Jimmy Feehan was full-back on the Tipperary team that reached the EirGrid All-Ireland U21 final last year and is part of both the Premier’s U21 and senior sides for 2016.
Tipperary’s current Division 3 status means that they would not be affected by the proposal unless they suffer league relegation this spring.
The proposal envisages Division 4 counties participating in a separate competition to the All-Ireland football qualifiers if they do not reach their provincial final.
The GPA announced earlier this month that players will refuse to partake in a B championship.
Tipperary have reached the last 12 stage of the All-Ireland football championship twice in the last four seasons and Feehan has followed teammate Michael Quinlivan in criticising the new proposal.
“I think the B championship would be an absolute disaster for whatever counties are involved in it,” said Feehan.
“I don’t think it’s right. If you’re playing on a county senior team, you want to be playing against the best players.
“You want to be given that chance against top opposition.
“To be playing just against Division 4 teams, you’re throwing them out in the cold really.”
If a B championship was introduced, the prospect of players deserting county panels in the wake of provincial championship exits could materialise.
“It’d be hard to wonder why you’d be staying around playing,” states Feehan.
“It’s not very attractive to be going playing a B championship. It’s nothing to be talked about. You want to be up there trying to get up to the top table.”
Tipperary’s focus is set on maintaining the meteoric rise football in the county has enjoyed in recent years.
Under the tutelage of new manager Liam Kearns, they have made a decent start to this year’s Division 3 league campaign and are currently second in the table behind Kildare after two games.
Clonmel Commercials exit from the All-Ireland club series last weekend will have the knock-on effect of strengthening the Tipperary squad in the coming weeks.
“If we get two or three more results, we’d be there or thereabouts for promotion,” outlines Feehan.
“But then if you take one or two bad results, you could be looking at a relegation battle which you obviously don’t want. (We) just have to get a result the next time now in Mullingar. If that happens you’ll be well in mix.”