Frank McGlynn: The GAA have gone against its community

Donegal’s Frank McGlynn doesn’t believe Congress’ decision to introduce the Super 8 All-Ireland championship from next year reflects the opinion of the GAA community.

Although Rory Gallagher supports the new structure, his players voted against it and were obviously among the 70% of GPA members who held such a view.

McGlynn felt disappointed after Saturday’s vote in Croke Park where 76% of delegates backed the All-Ireland round-robin series, which will replace the quarter-finals.

“All I can say is that as a panel of players we wouldn't have been in favour of the Super 8. In our eyes it's an extra two games and if you're defeated in an All-Ireland quarter-final, it frees up the month of August for club football. If you're defeated in the first group game, in my opinion, if your chances are gone you're playing an extra game when there's no need to.

“That's what's been decided. It's up to everyone to work with it. It'll be interesting to see how they'll fit it all into the calendar, especially with bringing the All-Ireland final three weeks forward and another two games.

“They're making decisions on behalf of the players and at the same time they're making decisions on behalf of the whole GAA community and I think if a consensus was taken of the GAA community, I don't think the GAA community is in favour of the Super 8 so it is disappointing.

“I suppose the window between games is going to shorten as well. In my own personal opinion, I feel that if you're repeatedly getting into the so-called Super 8 you're going to get better and better and the other counties that aren't getting into that Super 8, the gap is going to become wider.”

However, McGlynn was happy Congress backed the extra-time motion, which means only finals and All-Ireland finals will be replayed if the result is all square after 70 minutes. “It’s definitely a positive. It's taking off that extra weekend and I suppose if you're unlucky enough to actually draw a game you're running into back-to-back games for three or four weeks in a row so it probably takes away that chance of that happening which is a positive in my eyes.”

As for an August All-Ireland final, the defender is more concerned with the gaps between SFC matches. “I don't really care what they did. I definitely do think the window between Championship games, if you take for instance our first round Ulster Championship game against Antrim and we've a very long wait then to play our second game. To have four weeks training and preparation for one game is a bit too long in my eyes.”

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