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McGeeney Praises New Championship Format After Thrilling Final Day

McGeeney Praises New Championship Format After Thrilling Final Day
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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The round-robin championship format in the All-Ireland football championship has been the source of heated debate in GAA spheres all the way through this intercounty season.

Intended to bring about more games and more excitement after the provincial championships, the format chosen for the 16 team pool phase has proven divisive at best.

The GAA's decision makers chose a format which sees only four teams eliminated after the pool phase, and a preliminary quarter-final phase for the eight teams who finish in 2nd and 3rd place.

Colm Cooper, Lee Keegan, and Paddy Andrews were among those to speak out against the format ahead of this weekend's final set of round robin games - but the on-pitch action proved to be unexpectedly thrilling.

There was a shock win for Cork over Mayo in Group 1, a closely fought battle between Roscommon and Kildare in Group 3, and two thrilling games in Group 2.


In one of those two games, Armagh came out on top against Galway - fancied by many as the favourites for Sam Maguire this year. In his post-match remarks, Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney showed that the new All-Ireland football championship format has found at least one impassioned supporter.

READ HERE: Marc Ó Sé Rinses Paddy Andrews For Role In 2009 Mauling At Croke Park


GAA: Kieran McGeeney speaks out in favour of round-robin format

Armagh put in a hugely impressive shift to claim a one-point win over Galway in Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday afternoon, and Kieran McGeeney felt that his team's three games in the round-robin proved the format had worked.

Speaking to the media post-match, McGeeney said that the competitiveness of his team's games against Westmeath, Tyrone, and Galway had shown the merit of the new format - and questioned those who had complained about "dead rubbers" in the pool phase:

It is very hard to know what will keep the people on TV happy. I know what keeps the supporters happy, more games, more competitive games.

Every game we’ve been in was competitive. A couple of years ago we were complaining that there wasn’t enough games. Now we’re saying there’s too many. There was crying about dead rubbers and now there’s no dead rubbers and that is no good either.

You have to sit back and look at it. In some of the games today, everybody was fighting for every single score. To me, the system is much better. It’s not the leadership of the GAA I’d be giving credit to, the teams have really leaned into it.

Armagh have now earned a week's rest before they take on the All-Ireland football quarter-finals, while Galway will have home advantage for next weekend's preliminary quarter-finals.


SEE ALSO: "God Forbid The Day The Two Canavans Don't Turn Up"

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