Liam Sheedy says new structure “has been a huge success”

With only the All Ireland final left to be played, many have had their chance to express their views on the restructured Munster and Leinster Hurling championships introduced this year.

The old knockout system was replaced by round-robin provincial championships with each team playing each other once and the top three making it through to the All Ireland series.

The quality and quantity of the games seen this year has seen the new structure garner nationwide acclaim. Despite Tipperary’s failure to escape from Munster this year, former All Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy has praised the format.

“You can have no qualms. As a Tipperary fan myself, if you get 4 chances and don’t end up in the top three, you can crib and cry all you like. The bottom line is that you had your chance and didn’t take it.”

The sheer amount of quality games has seen an increased interest in hurling accross the country, something that is clearly evident in Limerick with the search for All Ireland tickets reaching fever pitch.

Yet Sheedy touched upon how the system could be tweaked slightly to improve player welfare.

“I think the big winner in all of this has been hurling. I would say that there’s tweaks to be done. Obviously some counties had to go to battle three and four weeks in a row and they are still amateurs. Asking lads to go through another 20-25 minutes after they have already been through 70-75 minutes is tough going but overall it has been a huge success”.

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 29/7/2018
Cork vs Limerick. Limerick’s Peter Casey, Darragh O’Donovan, Graeme Mulcahy and Seamus Flanagan celebrate at the final whistle. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

With the game drawing close, Sheedy is hoping for a Limerick win.

“I think Limerick can go up full of confidence and belief in the squad and what they have done. You are taking on a team that hasn’t been beaten in two years but there is no doubt about it, this Limerick team are different and they go with every chance.

“Having seen what the Liam McCarthy does for a county to have won it after a gap of ten years, I would personally love to see this Limerick team go and grab that cup after 45 years.”