Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Don't mention all-Ireland side

Proudest moment: Stephen Baxter lifts the Setanta cup

There's been some nonsense talked this last week about an all-Ireland football team.

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland lost a World Cup qualifier so some thought it was a good time to resurrect this tired old debate.

There's more chance of me enjoying a romantic candle-lit dinner with Kelly Brook than an all-Ireland football team taking shape.

Wait a minute, I'll take that back. There's more chance of me marrying Kelly Brook than there being an all-Ireland football team. Why don't we flag up that other far-fetched scenario of an all-Ireland League.

That won't happen either as it's about as appetising as the last turkey in the shop.

The Setanta Sports Cup all-Ireland tournament has had scheduling problems to address and, even though Irish League sides have had their pride dented on numerous occasions it remains a worthwhile concept.

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter will never forget the proudest moment of his career when his side triumphed in 2012.

However, some of the games have featured sectarian incidents, and an all-Ireland League would offer a platform for those morons to come to the party.

I can't speak for the Irish League fanbase but I'd be surprised if there was a significant appetite to embark on long journeys to Dublin and Cork.

On a straight knockout basis, yes. In a league campaign, no.

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