Carlow hurler Paul Coady says his team have not been treated as equals in the Liam MacCarthy Cup, and a Championship restructure should keep them in the competition.
Highlighting the unfairness of Waterford not facing relegation to the Joe McDonagh Cup, Mount Leinster Rangers man Coady fears the drop will upset Carlow’s development.
As fears about manager Colm Bonnar remaining in the position increase, Coady took to Twitter: “I understand the consequences of finishing bottom of the Leinster Liam McCarthy group meant demotion to the Joe McDonagh for Carlow hurling. I believe we have got to experience Liam McCarthy hurling to learn from it. At the moment, I believe Carlow are about eight to 14 points behind the teams we played; but how do we ever get this gap closer if, at a best-case scenario, we just yo-yo up and down from Joe Mac (Donagh)?
“This year, the intensity, hurling ability, tactics and preparation from opposition teams and from us against opposing opposition was something that Carlow hurling never experienced before this year, and I do believe experience will provide growth. More experience equals more growth!
“I live and breathe Carlow hurling and I’m too worried about the future of Carlow hurling to not at least ask these questions to the GAA. Is Carlow going down to the Joe McDonagh the best thing for Carlow hurling? What’s a best-case scenario here for Carlow over the next 1, 5, 10 years?
“Why is there a relegation from Leinster, but not from Munster?
“Regardless, if we’re even at Waterford’s level yet it is still hugely unfair, relegating Waterford would be wrong because it wouldn’t do anything for Waterford hurling and it’s a shame the same doesn’t apply to Carlow.”
Highlighting that no team outside the top nine have featured in the All-Ireland final in 100 years other than Antrim and Offaly, Coady wants the developing counties to be given more financial support and exposure.
“Our training for Championship was a day in Tramore, where other counties in the Liam McCarthy in ’19 are able to head to a foreign country for a full week’s training and tactics. It’s not the making of a successful team, but it’s a help to show the gulf between the counties.
“Nine of the 10 Liam McCarthy had games shown live, one team hadn’t. One team had a two-minute voiceover every Sunday night with every other team having highlights/analysis? One of 10 teams needs the promotion more than the other nine. That one team is obviously Carlow. Not looking for more, just the same.”
Meanwhile, Galway’s senior footballers’ one change from the team that saw off Sligo for Sunday’s Connacht final is Gary O’Donnell’s inclusion at the expense of injured Kieran Molloy.
Captain Enda Smith is one of three personnel switches in the Roscommon starting 15 which began the victory over Mayo last day out.
Also announced to start Sunday’s decider in Pearse Stadium are Conor Devaney and Diarmuid Murtagh. They and Smith replace Hubert Darcy, Andy Glennon, and Ultan Harney.
GALWAY (SF v Roscommon): B. Power; E. Kerin, S.A. Ó Ceallaigh, L. Silke; G. O’Donnell, G. Bradshaw, J. Daly; T. Flynn, F. Ó Curroin; S. Walsh, M. Daly, J. Heaney; A. Ó Laoi, I. Burke, D. Cummins.
ROSCOMMON (SF v Galway): D. O’Malley; D. Murray, S. Mullooly, C. Daly; N. Daly, C. Hussey, R. Daly; T. O’Rourke, S. Killoran; C. Devaney, C. Cregg, N. Kilroy; D. Murtagh, C. Cox, E. Smith.
CORK (MH v Clare): B. Saunderson (Midleton); S. Kingston (Ballinora), C. McCarthy (Blackrock), C. O’Brien (St Catherine’s); C. McCarthy (Oliver Plunketts), C. Joyce (Castlemartyr), B. O’Sullivan (Kanturk); E. Twomey (St Finbarrs, c), L. Horgan (Glen Rovers); I. Walsh (Lisgoold), D. Flynn (Ballygiblin), D. Hogan (Sarsfields); C. McCarthy (Sarsfields), J. Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), P. O’Riordan (Tracton).
Subs: C. Reynolds (Charleville), L. Quilligan (Glen Rovers), T. Twohig (Bandon), E. Downey (Glen Rovers), L. Doocey (Castlelyons), C. Walsh (Kanturk), J. Carr (Fermoy), T. Walsh (Kanturk), D. O’Leary (Watergrasshill).