'There was no problem in changing the hurling format but we couldn't get the support in football'

'There was no problem in changing the hurling format but we couldn't get the support in football'
Hugh Murphy of Cork in action against David Managan of Kerry. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

A CHANGE in attitude from other counties is needed if the Munster Minor Football Championship format is to be altered, according to Cork County Board secretary Frank Murphy.

Reservations regarding the system have been aired in the wake of Cork’s semi-final loss to Kerry last week, which ended the Rebels’ summer prematurely. At Tuesday night’s county board meeting in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, many delegates aired misgivings with how it operates and Murphy added his voice to that while expressing doubt as to whether Cork can force a change.

Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy said the flaws in the football were highlighted by the change to the minor hurling for this year, with that being run on the same round-robin basis as the senior hurling.

Frank Murphy said that Cork had sought a similar change to the football, but failed to receive sufficient support from other counties or the Munster Council.

“I read an article which made reference to us being late requesting a change,” he said, “we weren’t.

“When the hurling was changed, we immediately requested the same in the football but there was opposition from some counties in the province, they didn’t want to know about undue involvement in football.

“We then tried to have two groups of three but, whatever about other counties’ support – they weren’t as opposed to that as they would have been to a wider round-robin – we weren’t allowed to put that forward and the decision was taken to run it as it is. There was no problem in changing the hurling, but we couldn’t get the support from other counties and from the provincial administration.

“There’s no certainty that what is being expressed here in terms of the necessity for change will be supported. We fairly canvassed every county in relation to it but we were unsuccessful and we may be unsuccessful again.

“It’s not going to be easy to get it changed unless there’s a change in attitude from the other counties in the province.” 

Cork’s Munster Council delegate Marc Sheehan said that the issue was scheduled for discussion in July, with a final decision to be made at the September meeting. He feared that if things continue, the minor football championship will be eroded.

“The number of clubs not participating in adult football in some counties has led to a lowering of standards,” he said.

“That has led to an ambivalence towards the minor football and there’s a concern that other counties won’t want a change.

“I think we’re fast moving towards a situation where Cork and Kerry are playing in some derivative of the super eights. I don’t think there’s a great appetite at national level to provide a solution, it has to come from within the province.”

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