Coulter Calls It

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

I POSTED a tweet on Thursday about the restructuring of the Minor and U21 grades throughout Ireland saying that I thought it was a huge mistake and the amount of feedback and support around the tweet was unbelievable.

My argument over the change is that we now have a gap that after 17 years of age club players now have to make the step up to senior level and if they are not fit for the step up at that age they will just drop out, but if they were back at the old system it gives them an extra year to try and develop both physically and technically.

The other argument I had is that U16 players are now part of a starred system, meaning that they are not allowed to play for their U16 teams in the lead up to the inter-county U17 games, which is totally ludicrous.

First of all let me stress that this is absolutely no fault of the county managers that are over the teams as they have to make sure their players are ready to play for the county.

The gripe I have is, did the people who made these changes take into account that they were now stopping 15 and 16-year-olds from lining out for their club teams at such a young age?

That is one of the reasons why I believe that the GAA need to take a look at this and go back to what the grades were for as long as I can remember.

I would like to congratulate James McCartan and his U17 team on a great victory against Armagh in Newry on Saturday night. James will be happy to get out with a positive result but will know that they must improve if they are to get over the line against Tyrone in two weeks time. Tyrone had a great victory over Donegal and Down will go in as underdogs but if their main players can get going they sure do stand a chance in upsetting the odds.

The All-Ireland championship starts off this weekend when Sligo take on London and Litrim take on New York. There won't be much talk about these matches and it really kicks off the week later, but I do think the GAA need to start the championship with an ulster preliminary round match as it would get it off with more of a bang.

Imagine the talk of a Donegal v Cavan game next weekend. Although not the biggest of games may I add but there would be a hell of a lot more talk about it than this weekends matches.

Looking at both games I do believe that New York really do stand a great chance of getting there first victory and with Jamie Clarke on the team I am going to go with New York to win by three points.

London have come along way in a few years and have been competitive in Division Four but I do think that Sligo will have too much for them and I am going to go with a Sligo win by five points.

It is going to be a great four months of action ahead and I am really looking forward to seeing how the Super 8 will work this year. I have my doubts about it but time will tell whether it was a good idea or not.


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