Next year’s Division 3 football counties are still awaiting word on whether they will have two ways of avoiding the proposed second tier championship.
Qualification for a provincial final will exempt a team from missing out on the qualifiers and dropping to the B competition upon losing a provincial preliminary round, quarter or semi-final.
Division 1 and 2 counties will also qualify for the backdoor but it has yet to be confirmed what constitutes those 16 teams, whether they are the Division 1 and 2 counties at the start of the competition or at the end.
It had originally been intended that the National League placings going into 2020 would apply towards any tiered structure. However, GAA president John Horan suggested the Division 3 counties, who were unaware their League placing might determine their Championship, might be given a chance to earn a guaranteed qualifier spot via promotion to Division 2.
Speaking in July, he said: “It looks like your status will be decided by where you actually started in the league but in fairness and I’ve been talking to a few people, it might actually be fairer to where you finish. If you get promoted into Division 2 might be a better option than if you get relegated out of it.
“If you think about it, if you’re a relegated team as against a team with the momentum of getting promoted out of Division 3, who should get the benefit? Or do you have to wait 12 months?”
With 60% of delegates’ backing required to pass the tiered championship into rule at Special Congress in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on October 19, the criteria of who the B competition applies to could be a deal-breaker. The 2020 Division 3 counties are Carlow, Cork, Derry, Down, Leitrim, Longford, Louth and Tipperary.
Meanwhile, Diarmuid O’Sullivan could be set to return as a Cork selector/coach working alongside Kieran Kingston, who is expected to be announced shortly as John Meyler’s successor.
Maor foirne on match-days, the Cloyne man previously assisted Kingston in 2016 and ’17. Former Cork captain and respected coach Pat Mulcahy has also been touted as a possible member of the senior management team.
Pat Ryan, who was also part of Kingston’s ticket as selector then coach, is in the shake-up for the vacant U20 management role with Ronan Curran mentioned as a possible selector.
However, there are now doubts about Jimmy Barry-Murphy coming on board as U17 boss.
Former team-mates Seánie McGrath and Ben O’Connor have been mentioned as minor selector and coach respectively. Jamie Wall had also been linked to a role with the minors.
Meanwhile, David Power has been confirmed as the new Tipperary senior football manager. The former minor boss will be assisted by Charlie McGeever, Michael McGeehan (coach) and former Dublin full-back Paddy Christie.