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Richie Hogan Revealed His Hatred Of The Hurling Championship System

Richie Hogan Revealed His Hatred Of The Hurling Championship System
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Richie Hogan was on Newstalk's Off the Ball on Monday evening to talk about Kilkenny making their 15th All-Ireland Final in 18 years.

Once he had addressed the little matter of those blisters which he sustained during the game against Waterford, Hogan went on to speak about the current Championship format.

The 2014 Hurler of the Year revealed that he 'hates' the current format and would much prefer to play a match every two weeks

I don't like the system at all to be honest with you. I hate it. I'd rather have a match every two weeks.

This year we've played three games and we're in an All-Ireland final. Last year after three games we were in a Leinster final. It's a stark contrast.

If I had a choice I'd love to play at least six or seven games in the Championship but you don't have a choice.

It's pretty obvious, what players want is games.

Hogan outlined the ridiculousness of the situation which sees some counties go months without a game in between the end of the League and the beginning of the Championship.

If you look at top sports, you look at the Premiership, they're all league based.

Whereas ours is Championship based which is tough to do. It has advantages in the sense that you only have to play four games to win it but it has disadvantages in the sense that you're waiting five weeks without a game.

The time between our last League game and our first Championship game I think was 12 weeks. Three months in the middle of the year with no game whatsoever.

Some players might not even have taken part in the League and start training 12 weeks before the Championship and would still be in top condition which is not right.

It's hard thing to change because there's tradition and all that. From a player's point of view, you'd love more games and less training. But that's just the way it is and you've got to accept it.


He also detailed what he sees as a possible alternative.

A system that was suggested to me was that if you had 12 teams in the Hurling Championship and you had two groups of six. Each team plays each other twice, once at home and once away. You have to abolish the league and then it goes straight through to a knockout. Something like an NFL sort of a system.

People talk a lot about the Munster Championship, but it's not about the Munster Championship. It's about the match. If Kilkenny are playing Dublin or Kilkenny are playing Wexford, it's not about what's at stake it's about the rivalry. Regardless of whether you're playing for a Leinster Championship or the League or the All-Ireland, it doesn't matter.

The important thing would be to have a solid intercounty season and a solid club season that do not overlap. Our County Championship match is off this week because the county minors drew and they're playing next week instead. So our club players will go maybe 10 weeks without a game which is ridiculous. They talk a lot about grassroots but that is the grass rootsand maybe they're abused a little bit.

Hogan compared the current Championship situation to a truncated Premier League season which featured the FA Cup as the main attraction for half of the season.

Could you imagine a Premier League where it was cut in half and you only had 10 teams and it was played from September to Christmas and then after that you had the FA Cup.

You can listen to the full interview below.

Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE




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