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Tipp boss: 'I think the President of the GAA wants to leave his own mark, this is being rushed'

David Power doesn’t believe the new football two-tier plans are the solution.

David Power was appointed to the role of Tipperary senior boss last month.
David Power was appointed to the role of Tipperary senior boss last month.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

TIPPERARY BOSS DAVID Power believes the new football two-tier championship plans fail to address the major problem of the provincial system and is rooted in a desire for GAA President John Horan ‘to leave his own mark’.

Power is concerned that the proposal, which will be debated at the GAA’s Special Congress on 19 October, is being rushed into and that ultimately the broken provincial structure is the real issue affecting the county game.

“I think the President of the GAA wants to leave his own mark, this is being rushed. What I’d be worried about is this the start of the stronger getting stronger and the weaker getting weaker

“My feeling is that while the provincial system is working for the hurling and they have definitely got it right for the hurling, I think the football isn’t. A Champions League format with eight groups of four and that you’re graded per your league division and the top two of each goes into the Sam Maguire and the bottom two goes into Tier 2 competition, I think that’s ultimately the fairest way of actually doing it. Also teams will have the same amount of championship games as well.

“You look at the provincial championship. In Munster Kerry are going for eight-in-a-row, in Leinster Dublin are going for ten-in-a-row. Dublin have 14 out of the last 15 Leinster (titles) won.

“I suppose Connacht and Ulster is some way competitive but again there’s big gaps appearing say in Connacht between Leitrim and Sligo with Galway, Mayo and Roscommon a good bit ahead of all of them. I don’t think really the provincial championship is working in football.”

brian-howard-and-brian-fenton-celebrate-with-the-delaney-cup Dublin players Brian Howard and Brian Fenton celebrate with the Delaney Cup. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

The two-tier structure is envisaged to be based on the league status of counties with Division 1 and 2 teams competing for the Sam Maguire Cup and then the Division 3 and 4 sides involved in the new championship.

If the new structure is rubber-stamped, Power is fully behind the motion by the Tipperary county board that would see the placings at the end of the 2020 league campaign count. Tipperary were relegated to Division 3 at the close of the 2019 season.

“I think that the Tipp amendment is good. Division 3 is going to be a tough division. There’s a lot of good football teams in that division. There’s no guarantees, you don’t know what’s going to happen between injuries and numerous factors.

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“I think it makes sense if you’re promoted to Division 2 next year that you go into Tier 1 and the teams that got relegated from Division 2 go into the Tier 2. I think it’s fair. I know you can get to the provincial final and it would save you but I think the whole thing is a bit messy.”

Tipperary were paired against Clare in yesterday morning’s Munster championship draw for 2020 at the quarter-final stage. The intrigue lies in the fact that the winners will take on Limerick or Waterford, avoiding the traditional forces of Kerry and Cork.

“I think it’s a great draw for Limerick, Waterford, Clare and Tipp. I think all four counties will be saying we’ve a chance of getting to a Munster final. From that point of view it’s very exciting. Clare will ultimately be favourites, they’re a Division 2 side but we’ll be looking forward to the challenge and that game. We’ve only won two championship games since the All-Ireland semi-final against Mayo so we can’t be looking any further ahead.

“I honestly can’t remember the last Tipp played Clare (2002 the last championship meeting). It’s usually been Cork or Waterford that Tipp have been playing. I know they’ve played in the league but it’s been a good while since playing Clare in the Munster championship. So that’ll be an interesting game.”

gordon-kelly-with-brian-fox Clare's Gordon Kelly and Tipperary's Brian Fox in action in the 2014 Division 4 football league final. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The 2011 All-Ireland winning minor boss was appointed to the senior position at the end of last month. Charlie McGeever and Michael McGeehin – who have extensive Tipperary experience – are part of his backroom team with Dublin’s Paddy Christie and Clare’s Joe Hayes interesting additions.

“We’ve a very good mix. We’re very fortunate that we were able to get people of this calibre. The way the whole thing is gone, if you don’t have a good backroom team with you, it’s very hard to do it because the amount of detail that goes into it now is serious.

“Obviously from the players perspective they’re putting so much time into it you want to give them the very very best. I’m ultimately very happy with the management team I’m after putting together, a very experienced management and that I think the players will see the benefits from.”

Eoin Toolan and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to give an in-depth breakdown of where Ireland’s play stacks up against the contenders in Japan, and look into why New Zealand and England are primed for World Cup success.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Fintan O'Toole

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