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Davy Fitz calls for 10-team top tier in hurling league

The Clare manager has urged GAA authorities to make ‘the right call’.

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald during yesterday's relegation play-off.
Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald during yesterday's relegation play-off.
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

CLARE MANAGER DAVY Fitzgerald has called for the top tier in the Allianz Hurling League to be expanded to ten teams.

The Banner claimed an extra-time victory over Cork on Sunday in the Gaelic Grounds to preserve their Division 1A status for next year.

As a result Cork have been relegated to the second level for the first time since 1997.

The structure of the league has been heavily debated recently and Fitzgerald believes it is time to stop isolating certain counteis.

“My own personal viewpoint is 10 teams is the best format. Bring up these teams we’ve isolated out of this group of six.

Let’s have no doubt about it, and I’m not having a cut at anyone, but the more you’re playing the better teams, the more you’ll learn.

“Let them play away, even if they get a few beatings. You will get there if you stay playing the good teams.

“In the economic climate, having good teams coming to your county grounds can create spin-off’s in many ways. We all need a bit of help now.

“Hurling has taken a backseat in my mind. I woould love to see Offaly, Wexford, Antrim, whoever all playing against each other.

“Let’s try to even it out a small bit. There’s a lot of counties who feel they’re being isolated.”

Fitzgerald, who was speaking last night on Newstalk’s Off The Ball programme, has urged GAA authorities to make ‘the right call’.

“We need to try to make it the best and most competitive league and championship that we can make it. You’ll find the gap will close after a while.

“I do find it easy to work with the GAA in Croke Park, they’re good to talk to and they listen. But I think they need to look at this and make the right call.”

What do you think should be the format used in the Allianz hurling league? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Fintan O'Toole

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