Waterford secretary calls for halving of counties in All-Ireland

Waterford County secretary Tim O'Keefe has called for the number of counties who compete in the Sam Maguire to be cut by half.

Waterford County secretary Tim O'Keefe has called for the number of counties who compete in the Sam Maguire to be cut by half.

Mr O'Keefe said it is illogical to have 33 teams competing for the All -Ireland Championship when the vast majority are out of their depth.

Speaking with Beat 102-103 Sports Editor Martin Clancy, Waterford Football boss John Owens said he disagreed with O'Keefe.

Mr Owens said: "I don't think very many players would be of the same opinion of Timmy, most intercounty players would want to be playing against the best as they would have prepared well. The inability to play against the top teams wouldn't run with any of our panel. I'd be surprised if anybody would want that either."

O'Keefe suggested that Division three and four counties should be in a competition they have a chance of winning and, after that, they could take their chance at Sam Maguire Level.

Owens said that history shows that teams can compete.

He said: "Roscommon won the Connaught title last year, they were Division 4, Fermanagh have been All-Ireland semi-finalists, Wexford have been All-Ireland semi-finalists, Limerick have competed extremely well in Munster Finals a number of years."

"I would say it's his personal view. My personal view is they have tried successive times to promote the games within the counties, we had the Tommy Murphy cup its gone from the GAA calendar, some of the games played that were finalised over the coming weeks have done nothing for Hurling in Cavan or Monaghan or other areas where the sport is weak.

"What might work is more work on the ground within certain counties to promote the game. "

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up