HomeFootballDublin star Paul Mannion calls for more Championship format change

Dublin star Paul Mannion calls for more Championship format change


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DUBLIN star Paul Mannion has called for more changes to the championship format and scheduling – perhaps with the provincial series run concurrently with the All-Ireland games.

“I saw someone mention recently that the provincial championships could be run throughout the year, across the season, as part of the All-Ireland group stages or something like that,” said the Dubs attacker.

“We have a tendency to think everything has to be run sequentially in the GAA. Other sports don’t do that. They run competitions concurrently all the time.

“So I think that’s probably a solution. Moving the provincial championships possibly earlier in the year as well. Who knows?”

This is just the second season of All-Ireland group stages involving 16 counties competing for the Sam Maguire Cup, but Mannion believes that the GAA will be prepared to make more changes to the format:

“For years in the early part of my career, I was crying out for change because I felt we did need more games. More big games with the top teams, so I was actually very happy when they did change it.

“It’s a credit to the GAA that they do at least listen and try to change. I don’t think they have got it right in its current format. But I’m sure it will change again.

“That’s all you can ask of any governing body in any sport, that they’re listening to feedback and continuously trying to improve it. It started with the Super Eights, it was tweaked again in the current format.

Dublin's Paul Mannion supporting SuperValu’s Community Includes Everyone campaign.
Dublin footballer Paul Mannion supporting SuperValu’s #CommunityIncludesEveryone campaign. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan/©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

“I don’t think it will stay the way it is now in its current format. I don’t think it’s really exciting and pleasing fans and teams and managers.

“I think the extra games is definitely a positive. But just the format itself is strange. The timeline is strange. I think a lot of that needs to be changed.”

The Kilmacud Crokes forward contrasted the current Championship set-up with the League, saying: “It just feels like the League is definitely a really competitive competition. Lots of great games between the top teams.

“I think we just need to build a championship now that has that same excitement factor and intrigue. It’s going to take another couple of tweaks before we get there.”

* Paul Mannion was speaking at the launch of SuperValu’s sponsorship of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and this year’s #CommunityIncludesEveryone campaign which continues to encourage GAA communities across Ireland to do what they can to make their clubs and counties more diverse and inclusive.

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