Now that the dust has settled, it’s time for us to look back on the championship as a whole and also look forward to the club championships which will now take centre stage all across the land.
This year we saw major changes to our county football schedule. Although there may be some tweaking to be done here and there, I firmly believe that it’s a move in the right direction.
When we look at this year’s championship and take into consideration the fact that it started and finished earlier, I think we would have to be pretty happy with what we have had this season.
Starting earlier with fewer gaps between games etc would have been something new to all teams, so naturally that sort of shift will take some time to get used to. However, I think overall the season was a massive success on the football front.
I also think that the standard of the football on show improved this year with more teams moving towards a more expansive brand of football and leaving the negativity behind us. So, the future looks bright with more and more teams now adapting that sort of offensive approach.
The final itself was a real cracker and naturally that’s the game we remember the most. The fact that we are still talking about those individual performances from the likes of Clifford and Shane Walsh will do wonders for a game next season. Every young lad in the country now wants to play like those two lads.
I do understand that the powers that be will look closely at this year‘s championship and tweak it where it needs to, so we can’t be too harsh on them.
Personally, I think the biggest thing that we have to change is deciding major games on penalties. I don’t believe the penalty is a skill that we are taught from a very young age, so I think it’s extremely harsh to ask players to hinge their whole season on one kick of the ball. I just don’t think it’s right so that’s one thing that I would like to see changed going forward.
There is a lot of talk at the moment about the fact that the inter-county season is over this early in the year, with people giving out that we are losing out to other sports in terms of promoting the game.
In my opinion, I actually think we can do more to promote the game through this model.
We had a great intercounty season, so now it’s down to the club and county boards to make sure their county championships inspire those youngsters coming up on through the ranks in their counties.
With the likes of TG4 giving the club championships massive coverage and exposure, I actually think that the club championships can generate even more interest at grass roots level.
The club championships over the last couple of seasons have been immense and it’s important that we keep that standard up.
It’s now vitally important that county boards and TG4, who have shown a commendable willingess to broadcast these matches, get as much help as possible to make those live games happen week after
The split season is new to us all. Some like it at the minute and some may have issues with it, but I think for the overall good of our games we are heading in the right direction.
That’s why it’s critically important now that our coverage and exposure does not die off after the intercounty season. We need to manage to merge
both perfectly, resulting in the continued promotion and development games.
I look forward to watching a number of club championship games from all over Ireland over the coming weeks and months both with the live games on TG4 and other live games streamed online by county boards. Let the games begin.