As we make our way through June, it's fair to say that the championship is beginning to heat up in both codes. The provincial hurling finals will take place this weekend, while the Gaelic football championship is finally set to kick into gear as we enter the final set of All-Ireland round robin fixtures.
There should be some cracking games in store for GAA fans in the weeks ahead. In saying that, the whole thing will also be over rather quickly. The majority of counties have their seasons finished at the start of July, with the All-Ireland finals in the two codes set to take place in the last two weekends of that month.
Of course, the 'split season' approach between club and inter-county has caused quite a bit of debate in recent years. Club players enjoy the certainty it gives them in terms of planning their summers, while it also allows county stars to more easily balance their two commitments.
However, some feel that the inter-county season finishing in the middle of summer is a risk to the long-term health of the game.
Pat Spillane slams GAA over championship change
Pat Spillane has long been an outspoken criticism of the split season, believing that the inter-county game needs to be showcased throughout the summer.
Writing in the Sunday World this week, he slammed the GAA and says the public were 'sold a pup' with the new championship calendar.
The Britannica dictionary defines the phrase ‘sold a pup’ as ‘to buy something that is worthless’. It is a perfect description of the new-look All-Ireland series in both codes.
Evidence? Where do I start?
Imagine that Cork, Waterford, and Wexford – three of the top ten hurling sides – exited the Championship on May 28. Their next competitive match is at least seven and a half months away.
The majority of the lower-tier hurling counties finished their season on May 14.
Meanwhile, in football, Wicklow are already out of the Tailteann Cup, which is a shame given they had a great spring and secured promotion to Division Three...
Weather-wise, the best three months of the year are usually June, July, and August.
GAA pitches are at their pristine best but, in terms of GAA action, they are the also quietest three months of the year.
Meanwhile, literally hundreds of players are flying to the US for the rest of the summer, because they know their clubs at home won’t be playing Championship until mid-August at the very earliest. You couldn’t make it up.
I could go and on. The GAA powers can dress it up anyway they like, but this format is a pup. We have been duped.
This is an opinion that is shared by many, although the players themselves seem to fall into a different category.
It will be interesting to see if the split season will be part of the GAA calendar in the long-term.