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Colm Cooper & Lee Keegan Sum Up Farcical Nature Of All-Ireland Round Robin Series

Colm Cooper & Lee Keegan Sum Up Farcical Nature Of All-Ireland Round Robin Series
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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With the All-Ireland round robin series is set to conclude this afternoon, it's fair to say that most people feel that the new format adopted by the GAA has been rather underwhelming.

Supporters have long called for some sort of group system to be used for the championship, believing it would lead to more quality games between the best sides in the country. However, the system that has been used in 2023 has had the opposite effect.

Allowing three teams to advance from each group has resulted in some very underwhelming matches in recent weeks. Knocking out only one county from each pool has completely removed the jeopardy from the competition in many cases.


As a result, the whole thing has felt like somewhat of a damp squib.

Cooper & Keegan question new GAA championship format

Speaking on RTÉ this afternoon, Colm Cooper and Lee Keegan summed up why the round robin series has been so underwhelming this season. They also said that they expect the GAA to make some changes in 2024.

Cooper: It has been quite dull to be perfectly honest about it. I thought after the provincials that it would kick up a notch in the groups, but it hasn't really kicked on.

There are so many safety nets, with three teams going through it's kind of difficult to get knocked out to be perfectly honest about it. We could do with some good games today because it hasn't come to life yet.

Keegan: The standard has been subdued as well. I think teams are nearly afraid to show their full deck or full hand and where they're at, attendances are down. It's a combination of factors really.

There is a lack of consequences for teams as well, as Colm said, there are safety nets so why would they risk a big player who could get injured and won't be playing the next day?

There's all these things that add up. There will be tweaks that will be made next year.

It's difficult to argue with any of that.

The GAA selected this format in an attempt to minimise the number of meaningless games, but the result has actually been to devalue the format as a whole.

A more straightforward format of two through in each group would certainly make for a much more exciting product.


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