Munster Council delegate Ger Ryan (Templederry Kenyons).
A considered discussion took place during the July meeting of the Tipperary County Board on July 24th in the Sarsfield Centre, Thurles. Munster Council delegate Ger Ryan (Templederry Kenyons) introduced a topic concerning the structure of the Munster Minor Football Championship while County Board chairman John Devane warned delegates not to “rush into” any decision regarding the format of the competition.
A decision will be made on the format of the competition on September 13th. And, it is likely that a round robin format will be introduced. A six-team format, similar to the structure of the Munster Minor Hurling Championship, is not an option, but there is a strong possibility that a group phase will be introduced to the provincial series.
There are a number of potential options: two groups of three is one while a four-team group phase with the top two sides progressing to the semi-finals against the previous year's finalists who receive a bye to the last four is another (the previous year's provincial finalsts may or may not be seeded).
Although the Football Committee, led by chairman Barry O'Brien (Fr Sheehy's), favour the retention of the status quo Munster Council delegate Ger Ryan revealed that following a “good discussion” on the subject at a meeting of the Munster Council Competitions Control Committee there was “no support” for the retention of the current format.
“This is viewed as a very serious matter,” Munster Council delegate Ger Ryan explained at the recent meeting of the County Board.
“There is a concern about the state of football in the province,” the Templederry Kenyons man added before explaining that “the Munster Council do not want to see teams getting hammerings in matches with no associated developmental benefit”.
“We need to make up our mind on what form of round robin format that we would like to support,” Ger Ryan advised those present at the July meeting of the County Board.
In response County Board chairman John Devane said: “This is not a decision that we want to rush into, but if there is a better way of doing it then we should try and find it. The decision is going to be made so we have to decide what is going to be of the most benefit to Tipperary”.
Barry O'Brien, the chairman of the Football Committee, requested “an opportunity to discuss it at a Football Committee meeting” while Jerry Ring (Arravale Rovers) was concerned about the impact that additional minor games might have on the club scene in Tipperary.
“When are we going to play club matches,” Jerry Ring asked before suggesting that the “clubs may as well close down altogether”.
MUNSTER UNDER-20 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Barry O'Brien (the chairman of the Football Committee) revealed at the recent meeting of the County Board that it was his intention to propose that the Munster Under-20 Football Championship be transformed from its current format into one which featured two groups of three - the top two teams progress to the provincial semi-finals while the second and third-placed teams compete in the quarter-finals. Mr O'Brien argued that the proposed new system would guarantee all counties three games.
“The counties are spending a lot of money to prepare their under-20 football teams and we want to see those counties get value for money,” Barry O'Brien explained to delegates.
MUNSTER SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP
At the July meeting of the County Board Ger Ryan (the Tipperary delegate to the Munster Council) revealed that there was an “agreement” to extend the round robin phase of the 2019 Munster Senior Hurling Championship round robin phase by at least one week.
The provincial council will not be able to act on the matter until hearing from the central competitions control committee with specific regard to the issue. However, it is likely that an extra week will be introduced to the format in time for next year's competition.
During the 2018 Munster Senior Hurling Championship the Tipperary senior hurlers competed in four games on four successive weekends. Next season, however, it is likely that Tipperary will play two games, enjoy a break weekend, play another game, enjoy another break weekend and then play their fourth game in the round robin phase of the competition.
In effect during the 2019 Munster Senior Hurling Championship the Premier County could, potentially, launch their campaign against Cork (away) and then play Waterford (home) the following week before enjoying a break. Next up would be a contest with Clare (away), followed by another break before Tipperary would host Limerick in their final group game.
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