Brennan: Central Council put in tough position

Former GAA president Nickey Brennan believes Central Council were left in an unenviable position in choosing next year’s National Hurling League format.

Despite being presented with three other options, two of which were on last Saturday’s Clár, they opted to endorse the structure they voted in 11 months ago.

“I forecasted the status quo would remain,” said Brennan. “Too many things came on the table, although the vote was tight on the Carlow-Westmeath proposal [it lost by 19 votes to 17].

“It’s a pity Central Council was put in such a position. It would be different if it was back two months ago and counties had the opportunity to assess the options, but I just felt it was too much, too late.”

Brennan liked the Michael Burns Super 12 proposal, describing it as “ingenious” and “real thinking outside the box”.

He wouldn’t have had an issue with Carlow and Westmeath joining Division 1 but expressed a slight concern about the possibility of one-sided games.

The former Hurling Development Committee chairman now co-hosts a show on Community Radio Kilkenny City 88.7 FM with Pat Treacy.

On Sunday’s show, Treacy suggested the ballot on the Carlow-Westmeath proposal might have been different had it taken place the day after Mount Leinster Rangers reached the Leinster senior club final.

Brennan isn’t too concerned about the potential for one-sided quarter-finals between the best in Division 1A and the mid-table Division 1B teams.

The team that finishes top in Division 1A after the five-round stages will face the fourth-placed team in Division 1B, with Division 1A’s second best taking on the third best in Division 1B.

“At least everyone now knows what the situation is,” said Brennan. “The fourth-placed team in Division 1 should have a couple of wins and be building some momentum by the time they reach the quarter-finals.

“I don’t think these games would be as lopsided as if they were to take place two months later in the championship.

“The Antrims and Laoises of this world, they need to test themselves against stronger opposition.

“They should relish the chance to play these teams.”

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