All-Ireland Series launched

All-Ireland Series 2014 launch

Photo: GAA.ie

Like every organisation in the modern, news-hungry world we live in the GAA is fond of hosting launches and yesterday saw a media event at Dublin’s Mansion House to herald the imminent start of the 2014 All-Ireland Series. Fronting the event were representatives from the four provincial champions – Dublin’s Jonny Cooper, Donegal’s Karl Lacey, Kerry’s James O’Donoghue and our own Robbie Hennelly. And, of course, one S Maguire.

The event has generated plenty of press coverage today, with pieces involving all four players mentioned above. The ones featuring Robbie (Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, The Score) all focus on what he said about┬áthe quality of our forward line and, in particular, Cillian’s marquee status. All harmless stuff, you’d have to say.

For the sake of completeness, here’s sample of what the other three had to say – Jonny Cooper on how hard it’ll be for him to break back into the Dublin team, Karl Lacey on what a great guy Jimmy McGuinness is and James O’Donoghue on how winning an All-Ireland medal is all that counts.

It’s just as well the GAA moved so quickly to do this year’s All-Ireland Series launch because unlike in previous years there’s a very narrow window this year where the final eight will be left standing. Up to this year, there was normally (barring years where replays were needed) a full week between the conclusion of the qualifiers and provincial finals and the start of the All-Ireland Series. ┬áThis year, though, it’ll be less than 24 hours, with the Round 4B qualifiers not being concluded until close to sundown on August 2nd and then Kerry and ourselves out in the quarters against our respective qualifier opponents the following afternoon.

11 thoughts on “All-Ireland Series launched

  1. The All-Ireland Series is where it is at in terms of gaelic football with the best eight teams playing off for Sam but most of the championship is spent focusing on local rivalries and one sided games within the provinces. No wonder the hurling championship looks a better spectacle – the top teams seem to be playing each other every week from May onwards as only the best are competing in the main championship.

    Now I’m all for keeping the provincial championships in football but I don’t think it should take two and a half months to run them off – they could easily be finished by the end of June or first weekend of July.

    This would leave the business end of the season, July to September, for the All-Ireland series. I would advocate a more US sport based approach with the quarters and semis being played over the best of three legs with each team getting one home game in the quarters and the third deciding game, if needed, being played in Croke Park. The final would still be a one off game as it is now. This would allow football to sell itself better with more games between the best teams for a longer part of the summer. With the best teams spread around the provinces at present, unlike the hurling, it feels like the championship doesn’t properly start until August and then is over almost as soon as it starts. It seems like we spend too much time trying to find more games for the weaker teams and not enough time trying to make the championship a better spectacle.

  2. That’s very true, Declan – the point was made at the launch that there are now just eleven matches left in this year’s championship and four of these aren’t even in the All-Ireland Series as the Round 4 qualifiers still have to be played. As things stand, most of the championship is given over to dancing round the handbags stuff with the year’s real action come and gone in a flash.

  3. Being a bit pedantic, I seem to remember qualifier games on the Saturday before we beat Cork in 2011: the Kildare/Down classic and Ros/Tyrone. Felt I was camping out that weekend and would take. The same again willingly.

  4. Agree with Declan.

    Still galls that provincial champions only get one shot while others get two.Know its different championships but still one can learn a lot from defeats and sometimes refs can make difference.
    Surprised Rob Hennelly so forthcoming in Independent.Not sure it is wise.

  5. Nothing wrong with what hennelly said imo, he was honest yet didn’t give anything away…unlike Brady an co.

  6. Hennelly was pretty positive in his comments without saying very much at all so couldn’t fault him in that regard.

  7. I was just checking out some of the Cork GAA forums and even their supporters don’t seem to have much hope for their future in this year’s championship, some were even saying that they’d nearly prefer to lose to Sligo than to get a hammering from Mayo or Kerry in Croke Park. They’d prefer if the dual players concentrated on the Hurling. If Sligo start well, they could really put it up to them. Although Cork still have a lot of talent up front, their problems are at midfield and in defence. Remember if Sligo and Tipperary win, (Tipp will be looking for revenge as Galway beat them in last year’s qualifiers) there will then be an open draw to see who we will play in the quarter-finals, either Sligo or Tipp. You’d expect Cork and Galway to win but it wouldn’t be a major surprise if Sligo and Tipperary made it through.

  8. What a sad loss to the gaa world the passing of Dermot Hogan (the Offaly manager ). I wish ( and i sure all mayo fans feels the same )his Wife and family our best wishes on this very sad occasion .

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