Conor Counihan disappointed with Cork Championship proposals

Former Cork football manager Conor Counihan has expressed his disappointment that proposals to change the championship structures in the county will include the removal of automatic relegation.
Conor Counihan disappointed with Cork Championship proposals

Board delegates are tonight expected to ratify a new system, put forward by the county executive, based on a submission from Rockchapel and Meelin.

Throughout this year, meetings with various stakeholders have taken place, with submissions welcomed.

In addition to Rockchapel and Meelin, proposals were also received from Killeagh, Douglas and the games sub-committee of the board’s strategic review committee, of which Counihan is a member.

One of the biggest changes under the proposed new format – which would run for four years, subject to a review at the end of 2017 – is that first-round winners will be afforded another chance should they lose their second game.

In addition, automatic relegation would be dispensed with, though games will be played to determine the lowest-ranked teams in each grade with reviews subsequently take place.

There is also the possibility that senior and intermediate clubs from heavily populated urban areas will have the opportunity to enter second teams in the intermediate championship, while a ‘holiday break’ would be factored into the schedule too.

Both the games sub-committee and Killeagh favoured a round-robin format which included a seeding arrangement for subsequent championships as well as a streamlined relegation play-off arrangement.

“You’d have to be disappointed,” Counihan said.

“We put forward what we felt was a very sound system, something that we felt would benefit the championships in Cork – I don’t think anyone could say right now that they are where they should be.

“You look at Kerry, there will be three senior clubs relegated this weekend and I think at some stage you have to be ruthless.

“My own club Aghada was relegated from senior football this year but it’s something you get on with, you try to win your way back.”

Ray Rochford, a Killeagh senior hurling selector and one of the architects of their proposal, would have liked to have seen the various other proposals go before delegates too.

“We’re a little bit disappointed that it wasn’t circulated more,” he said.

“There was a lot of input in putting this together, maybe that counted against us as we were slow-moving at the start, but when we had it put together we were delighted as it seemed to tick all of the boxes, all tie-break eventualities were catered for and you’d only have needed one draw at the start of the year.

“We would have liked for delegates to have had a chance to look at the proposals from clubs like ourselves and then discuss them with their own clubs before coming back to vote.

“Once we submitted our proposal we were never contacted other than to get an acknowledgement that it was received.”

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