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"Not Possible" - Davy Fitzgerald Has Serious Concerns About New Hurling Format

"Not Possible" - Davy Fitzgerald Has Serious Concerns About New Hurling Format
By Michael McCarthy
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When the GAA Championship draw was made for 2017 last week, there was one significant difference to previous years.

No, it was still on in mid-October, about 4 months too early. No, RTE still pulled out all the stops and provided rolling analysis of something that was impossible to analyse. No, RTE also still rolled out current inter-county players to tell us their home game against a team four divisions below them was going to be a proper test.

What was different about this years football and hurling championship draws was that there was actually no hurling draw.

Instead, we got a fixture list. The Leinster and Munster Championships will be contested in a round robin format this year, and while there are some concerns as to how it's going to work, it's fair to say there is a general level of excitement about the prospect of more games in the provincial championships, and a home and away structure.

One man who's also generally happy with the new format is Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald. Davy, though, has one major issue - the scheduling of the games.


Each team will be required to play four Championship games in the space of five weeks. For Wexford amd Waterford, who both have their bye in Week 1, that means four weeks in a row. That's a big step up in intensity for the hurling championship, and something Fitzgerald doesn't think is sustainable.

Speaking to the RTE GAA podcast, Fitzgerald told Damian Lawlor it's "crazy".


I think the one thing that has to come in is, there has (to be) a small bit of common sense.

They are trying to run off the four or five games in four or five weeks. I just think we need one more week in there, and I think that is from a players safety point of view, and you have to look at that.

I mean, to ask my lads to go out four weeks, one after another, is just too much. I think if there was one more week thrown in there, it’s manageable.

While nobody would argue, some of the gaps between games for counties over the years were far too long, is playing four weeks in a row, at championship intensity really the best solution? It will be difficult for teams to even train in this time, and there'll be a general worry about recovery time and players picking up injuries.

Besides that obvious issues, Fitzgerald is actually a big fan of the new structure, especially for what he believes it will do for the club game.

I'm so excited about it. I actually think it's good to have them amount of games, but I also think the clubs are going to benefit. They mightn't have saw this at the start, but they definitely are.

There's only going to be four teams left in the Championship after mid-July, because they semi finals will have to in the third and fourth week of July, so a lot of the teams in the hurling will be gone and will be out of it. I think that is massive for the club.

The whole month of April? Listen, it's now there, it definitive, it is what is it is, and we got to accept that.

I'm looking forward to seeing what it's going to be like. As I say, the only small little tweak that definitely needs to be made is the playing four out of five weeks, not possible. That's my honest view.

You can listen to the full interview on the RTE GAA podcast, where Davy talks about Wexford's 2017 season and how they are going to progress in 2018.

SEE ALSO: 10 Men Sent Off In Fiery Leinster Intermediate Championship Fixture

SEE ALSO: Listen: A Madcap, Foul-Mouthed Local GAA Commentator To Rival Effin' Eddie Moroney

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