The GAA have just published details of the fixtures for the 2010 National Football League. Our Division 1 schedule for next spring is as follows:
6th February: v Galway (home), under lights at McHale Park, throw-in 7.30 pm
14th February: v Tyrone (away), 2.30 pm
7th March: v Dublin (home), 2.30 pm
13th March: v Derry (away), 7.30 pm under lights
21st March: v Kerry (away), 2.30 pm
28th March: v Monaghan (home), 2.30 pm
11th April: v Cork (away), 2.30 pm
A few issues leap out from that list. i.e.
1. Despite the fact that we’ve spend loadsamoney on installing floodlights at McHale Park, it would appear that we’re only going to use them just the once, for our opening fixture against Galway. That seems a bit daft to me.
2. Once again – for the third time in four years and the sixth time in ten years – we’ve only been given three home ties with four on the road. What’s more, for the second year in a row we have to play Kerry down at their place, which – as John O’Donoghue has shown – is a trip only to be tackled by air, while the poor old Dubs (and poor old me) will have to traipse down West for the second successive year. Damn it – I was looking forward to strolling up to Parnell Park for that one.
3. There are, by the looks of it, a number of poxy trips in the above list. Tyrone (presumably Omagh) is not a fun trip from here, the trek to Derry is even less so, Kerry (Tralee or Killarney) is – unless you’re the soon-to-be ex-Ceann Comhairle – a monumental pain in the hole to reach and Cork isn’t a whole load better. As well as that, the two away matches that would have been a cinch to reach from here in the Metropolis (Dublin and Monaghan) are both home fixtures (and, hence, involve a round-trip of 320 miles from here in D9). At this rate, I think I could be covering much of this campaign via Midwest on the couch.
4. The spacing of matches appears a bit odd: it starts off with two weekends in a row, then there’s a three-week break and then it’s four weekends on the trot before a two-week break ahead of the final round. Whatever happened to having league matches every second Sunday?
Oh, by the way, RTE have now decided to screen the 2010 Championship draw live after all. It’s now on next week, on Thursday evening (22nd), but there’s still no mention of a throw-in time for that one.