Galway strongly oppose club provincial switch

Galway are opposed to their county senior hurling champions participating in one of the other three provincial championships.

Galway strongly oppose club provincial switch

Galway are opposed to their county senior hurling champions participating in one of the other three provincial championships.

The recent report of the fixture calendar review taskforce recommended that Galway’s senior hurling champions no longer directly advance to an All-Ireland semi-final, but instead be made play in either the Leinster, Munster, or Ulster club championship.

“A strong view was expressed to the taskforce that, as the Galway champions in hurling are the only participants in the senior club championship from Connacht, this would be a beneficial and logical move”, read the final report of the committee.

Galway chairman Pat Kearney has said the county must preserve its “unique situation”, forecasting strong resistance from within the county to any attempt to move the Galway club champions into a neighbouring province.

There are a lot of issues in that [final report] that we won’t like, especially the hurling county champions playing in Leinster or Munster. I’d say there will be a lot of opposition to that. We must keep our unique situation that we have. We are hurling in Connacht and we must [keep] that.

Were Central Council to approve any such move for the Galway hurling champions, it would force the county board to conclude their senior competition far earlier than is the case at present.

This year’s Galway SHC final was played on November 10, whereas the Leinster and Munster club championships both threw-in on November 3.

Moreover, moving the Galway champions into one of the other three provinces would reduce the need for at least one of the All-Ireland club semi-finals and result in one of the three provincial champions progressing directly to the All-Ireland final.

Elsewhere, Kearney wants “quality” junior club players in the county to be able to play at a higher level, but stopped short of recommending the establishment of divisional teams.

“We talk every year about how we can support the smaller clubs, the quality player in junior clubs. We have it in ourselves to give flexibility in our bylaws and rules.

“We should try and facilitate some way that the junior players can play at a higher standard. We can’t be like Kerry or anything, but we must look at that.”

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