Munster football boss Ger O’Sullivan says switching the inter-provincial competition to the All-Ireland final weekend would hurt the province’s chances of winning the title.
The former Cork selector is more in favour of the series being moved to an October or November date when more players would be available.
Armagh defender Aaron Kernan’s suggestion about holding the games in Dublin on the same weekend as the All-Ireland final in September has been gathering support. But O’Sullivan fears were a Munster county to reach the Croke Park decider, their unavailability would severely damage the province’s ability to compete.
“It’s not a runner for Munster or Connacht at that time of the year,” he insisted. “If Cork or Kerry or both were to reach the final as they have done, it would weaken the Munster team. The same would happen [for Connacht] if Mayo were to get to the final.
“No, when things die down that’s the best time for it and it’s essential that it’s advertised well and somebody like TG4 televises it. You have the competition of the International Rules but you can work around it.
“Some of the best games I’ve seen have been inter-provincial games but if the GAA thinks this is about counting people at matches to show its worth they can forget it. The players want it — if the GAA think it’s only about money they may as well drop it now.”
O’Sullivan texted each of his players after their semi-final defeat to would-be winners Connacht earlier this month, and was heartened by the replies he received from the likes of Marc Ó Sé and Brian Hurley.
He believes the interpros is an ideal platform to showcase games abroad. Similar to GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell’s suggestion to replace the All Star trips with interpros, he’d like to see the awarded players face the best provincial team in a foreign country. O’Sullivan maintains the interpros can find a better-suited date.
“It’s the club players who have to be considered and you could go a long way possibly by adding a fifth division in the National League and thereby cutting the games by one or two. It would give more time in April and May to the clubs. It would also help to finish the club championships in the calendar year and everyone would have Christmas off. People might say an All-Ireland final in November or December mightn’t be great weather-wise but there’s not much difference between that and March.”
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