Canavan calls on GAA to embrace Masters football

Canavan calls on GAA to embrace Masters football

Tyrone great Peter Canavan has called on the GAA to embrace the All-Ireland Masters Football Championship after he came close to further All-Ireland honours on Saturday.

The Red Hands lost out though as Galway secured back-to-back Masters crowns thanks to a 1-8 to 0-9 win at Leitrim Village.

A first-half wonder goal from Alan Feerick set Galway on their way to victory, in a game which saw the Tribesmen hold a six-point lead midway through the second half, but Tyrone fell short at the end despite a Canavan-led comeback.

For Feerick and his team-mates David Cronin, Donal O Fathartha, Conor McGauren and John Wilson, the victory was some consolation for a three-point loss to Tyrone in the 1992 All-Ireland U-21 final, a game which saw Canavan feature.

For the second year in a row, the competition for over-40s has been run unofficially, after insurance concerns from GAA Headquarters - but Canavan sees nothing but positives from the event.

"Any of the games that have been played up to now there's been some exceptional football in terms of high-fielding even," he said.

"We witnessed that today a few times even. Some of the Galway scores today were exceptional. A lot of these players the skill levels obviously haven't left them and it's great to play in.

"There seems to be a great interest for the counties that are there, and it's just a pity that Croke Park don't give it the support that it deserves."

A total of nine counties entered this year's competition, with a firm indication of the interest in the Masters Championship seen by the large panels involved - all counties had at least a panel of 30 players, but in most cases, including Tyrone's, there was a lot more.

"I know as far as Tyrone is concerned there's 26 or 27 fellas on the sideline there today," revealed Canavan. "The interest is definitely there and if the competition was official then I've no doubt there would be many more teams competing in it."

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