Matt O’Callaghan warning any changes to Hurling Championship need to be thought through.
What was served up in Thurles last Sunday by Cork and Tipperary is a timely reminder of why the Munster Championship matters and why it will always matter to the hurling people of the province.
It’s ability to throw up surprises, epic counters and an unequalled level of skill and tribal passion sets it apart from the rest. In simple terms the Munster Hurling Championship is special.
With the GAA Congress restructuring the All-Ireland football championship from 2018 on, there were calls from some corners that the hurling championship needed similar change.
The Super 8 structure means extra games during the summer with a league format operating around the championship prior to the All-Ireland Quarter final stages.
Recent reports are that Hurling administrators are now looking at changes to the Hurling Championship sstructure.
The Munster Hurling championship, which is arguably the crown jewel in the GAA Crown would remain. One only has to look at last Sunday’s epic encounter between Cork and Tipperary to realise how special Munster hurling is. It matters and every year it throws up some huge battles.
The Leinster hurling championship would also remain largely the same. There would be 5 teams in each with all sides playing in a round robin format.
The top two sides would play off in the Provincial final. The winner would advance to the All-Ireland Semi final stage whilst the provincial loser and third place team would appear in the quarter final stage.
Speaking with Sporting Limerick, the Weekly Observer’s Matt O’Callaghan has urged caution.
“This needs to be very seriously thought out, this thing now is being fast tracked and its a knee jerk reaction to the super 8 in football”
Adding on from the Super 8 structure that will be introduced in the Football Champioship from next summer on, O’Callaghan added:
“That in a way wasn’t properly thought out because it was going to eclipse hurling completely in the prime months”.
O’Callaghan is fearful however that any decision making process surrounding the future of the hurling championship may be skewed.
“It will be predominately footballing counties deciding how the hurling championship is run”.
“We need to get a proper structure in place…We just don’t need to put something in for the sake of putting in something, we need to get something that is sustainable and that answers the need”
Considering what the first round of the Munster Championship churned out last weekend, the GAA must thread very carefully if looking to make changes.
You can listen to Matt’s full interview on hurling reform by clicking on the link below.