Matt O’Callaghan – “The decision makers in the GAA must be scratching their heads”
In a weekend where three of the top four sides in Gaelic Football steam rolled their way into the All-Ireland Semi-Finals, the structure of the Football Championship was once again called into question from all corners of the country.
The average margin of victory in the four quarter finals was 11 points, as Kerry a week ago and Dublin, Tyrone and Mayo last weekend all booked their last four spots. Speaking with Matt O’Callaghan he feels that something needs to change rapidly.
“You’d just wonder, Colm O’Rourke touched on it over the weekend, we’re going into the super 8s, there’s a big difference between the top four an the next four, that is what has been proved.
“You’d worry that the top teams, he Dublin’s, the Kerry’s, the Tyrone’s and the Mayo’s of this world, they’re striding way ahead of the pack and that was proved at the weekend.”
“The decision makers in the GAA must be scratching their head as to where is the route forward to even up standards a bit.”
“You would have to worried about the structure going forward, no question about it.”
There is a growing concern across the nation that the weaker teams will continue to get weaker as players will refuse to play inter-county football to spare the risk of being annihilated by one of the ‘Big Four’. Already this year a number of top players have decided not to pay inter-county football, whilst many are deciding to focus on hurling.
“He (Colm O’Rourke) actually nailed it. That is the situation. In the weaker counties, in the minnows, they put in the same effort, the hard slog. All for what? Nothing, to be trounced.”
“With the way the football championship has gone this year, if you were to apply those fixtures, the eight teams that were involved in the quarter finals, to the new format, you would have very poor quality fare judging on the quarter finals.”
“I think the proposals for the hurling championship is equally as hairbrained as the one for the football championship.”
Shifting focus to the weekend’s standout game between Galway and Tipperary, O’Callaghan was glowing in his praise of the encounter. It took a last minute Joe Canning point to seal the win for Galway and progress to the All-Ireland final. There was little to seperate the teams throughout as a draw seemed on the cards until Canning stepped up to win the game. Waterford and Cork meet this weekend to decide Galway’s opponent.
“This is the third year in a row and there has been a point between them each year,
This was some game of hurling. It had everything.”
You can listen to Matt’s take on the weekend’s inter-county action on the link below.