Coulter Calls It

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

THIS week the Ulster GAA Council made small changes to the Ulster Championship by introducing a system where by if you have played in the preliminary round in one year you can't play in it for the next two years.

I think it's a great rule to bring in but I still can't get my head around why the GAA won't change up the whole structure of the championship as it is so unfair it's actually laughable.

For example for Donegal to make the Super 8 through the front door they would have to beat Cavan, Derry, Down and potentially Tyrone in the Ulster Final just to qualify where as Roscommon would have to beat Leitrim and potentially Mayo in the Connaught final to make it into the Super 8.

In this day and age the format should be of equal opportunity and that simply is not the case and has not been the case for years.

Kerry will also have a lovely route to the Super 8 where they would have to beat two Division Two teams to make it.

With all the new formats and rules brought in by the GAA I just can't get around to why this has not been changed into an open draw with two tiers where top 16 in Ireland and the bottom 16 fight it out in separate competitions.

I fully understand that some managers are so against it as they see it as a secondary competition but the GAA need to run it right and give it the credit which it would deserve.

They need to run it alongside the A All-Ireland if it had any chance of taking off.

Imagine a situation in club football where you had not got an Intermediate or Junior championship and all clubs were in the one competition.

So for example you had Kilcoo playing Bright in the first round of the Down championship.

Affectively that is what is happening in the Intercounty championship where Division One teams are being pitted against Division Four teams.

The All-Ireland Feile comes to Down this year with both boys and girls U14 competing all over Down at the end of June, which promises to be a great occasion all across Down circles.

This opportunity only comes around so often and I know my own club Mayobridge are embracing it and we will be hosting two clubs over the weekend. It promises to be a brilliant weekend and our club are already putting plans in place to make the an occasion to remember for both visiting clubs.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Down U17s and James McCartan all the best in this years championship, which starts on Saturday evening in Newry at 6pm.

This years competition is being played off a new format but anyone of five teams could win the Ulster title this year and Down are one of them.

I am not saying they are the best team in the competition because they are not but they have a chance that on their day they can be a match for anyone and with James in charge that should give them an edge over most teams.


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