Cork GAA: Your guide to 2023 football championship draw as seedings decided

Cork clubs will learn their fate at the annual county convention at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday week
Cork GAA: Your guide to 2023 football championship draw as seedings decided

Gearóid O'Mahony, Kilmurry, looking to block the run of Darragh Heelan, Cobh. Both are in pot 2 of the PJFC seeding. Picture Dan Linehan

NO sooner has the dust settled on the county championships than the 2023 campaign is already coming into focus.

The draws for the Bon Secours football championships, which include a new fifth tier in Premier Junior, take place at the annual county convention on Sunday week.

There, new champions St Michael’s, Kanturk, Kilshannig and Kilmurry will learn their fate in terms of what opposition await in the usual format of three groups of four in each grade with the top two qualifying for the knock-out phase.

The number one seeds are the finalists from this season along with the top-ranked semi-finalist, based on the group stages.

The remaining three teams from the group stages are designated number 2 seeds and the remaining six teams are third and fourth seeds, in no particular order.

It’s a change from previous seasons when clubs were designated either pot three or four, but they’re all together now, presumably to reduce the risk of repeat pairings.

The teams in pot one of the PSFC are the strongest in the county, featuring the defending champions Nemo Rangers, beaten finalists St Finbarr’s, who relinquished their hold of the Andy Scannell Cup, and Castlehaven.

St Michael’s, who defeated Knocknagree in the final of the county SAFC, are back in the top tier for the first time since 2006, the year they lost to west Cork pair, Clonakilty by 1-8 to 1-6 in round 1 and then Bantry Blues by 1-9 to 1-6 in the losers’ round.

They regraded in 2007, having spent eight seasons in the main championship following their 1998 intermediate victory.

Star forward Eric Hegarty is relishing the opportunity of rubbing shoulders with Cork’s strongest clubs.

“We’re up with the big boys, finally, and we’ll have one from Nemo, the Barrs and the Haven,” he told The Echo.

“We’ve been playing in the top grade in the league in the last few years and that will help, but we’re under no illusion about what’s needed to compete with them.

“At the same time, we won’t fear anyone. We’ve played the Barrs and Nemo in challenge games as well and with the younger fellows coming through it’s only right and proper that we’re up there.

“We should have been up there long before now, but we’re there now and looking forward to it. Of course, they will test us and it will tell us where we are ourselves,” Hegarty commented.

Knocknagree's Niall O'Connor shoots past St Michael's Andrew Murphy and Joe Golden. Michael's are in the Premier SFC grade next year. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Knocknagree's Niall O'Connor shoots past St Michael's Andrew Murphy and Joe Golden. Michael's are in the Premier SFC grade next year. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Kanturk, who overcame Bantry Blues in the PIFC final, take the big step up to SAFC where they could renew rivalry with Duhallow neighbours Knocknagree, who are seeded number 1 along with Newcestown, relegated from the PSFC, and Clyda Rovers.

Kiskeam and Newmarket are other clubs from the north-west division and like Kanturk are in the third-fourth seeded category with the potential of one group containing three Duhallow teams.

Newcestown could also have neighbours for company with O’Donovan Rossa and Dohenys in the second pot.

Premier SFC: 

Pot 1: Nemo Rangers, St Finbarr’s, Castlehaven; 

Pot 2: Ballincollig, Mallow, Carbery Rangers; 

Pots 3-4: Carrigaline, Clonakilty, Douglas, Éire Óg, St Michael’s, Valley Rovers.

SAFC: 

Pot 1: Knocknagree, Newcestown, Clyda Rovers; 

Pot 2: O’Donovan Rossa, Ballingeary, Dohenys; 

Pots 3-4: Bishopstown, Fermoy, Kanturk, Kiskeam, Newmarket, Ilen Rovers.

Premier IFC: 

Pot 1: Bantry Blues, Bandon, Cill na Martra; 

Pot 2: Iveleary, Aghada, Rockchapel; 

Pots 3-4: Castletownbere, Kilshannig, Macroom, Na Piarsaigh, Naomh Aban, Nemo Rangers.

IAFC: 

Pot 1: Aghabullogue, St Vincent’s, Mitchelstown; 

Pot 2: Boherbue, Adrigole, Glanworth; 

Pots 3-4: Ballinora, Dromtarriffe, Glanmire, Gabriel Rangers, Glenville, Kildorrery.

Premier JFC: 

Pot 1: St Nick’s, St Finbarr’s, Millstreet; 

Pot 2: Ballydesmond, Kilmurry, Cobh; 

Pots 3-4: Buttevant, Cullen, Kinsale, St James, St Michael’s, Urhan.

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