The leagues start next weekend as well and one of the major flaws of the GAA calendar is that so many matches take place in the worst conditions. The prestigious Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cups are being rushed through this year with, as UCC football boss Billy Morgan pointed out last weekend, some teams eliminated before the students are back on campus.
And that’s the crux of it. Hurlers and footballers across the country either have too few or too many meaningful matches.
A genuine concern in some cases but clubs would have adjusted to not utilising their best U18s at senior, intermediate and junior. Instead the nuclear option of dropping minor to U17 was taken and we’ve seen at inter-county how that diluted the standard of provincial and All-Ireland championships.
Keeping strong numbers, gives clubs a chance of unearthing late developers like Seamus Harnedy and Daniel Kearney, who weren’t Cork minors, but also being vibrant. Playing a load of games in muddy January, doesn’t benefit anyone.