Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Brennan calls for second tier for football

GAA president Nickey Brennan is predicting that a new second tier football championship will come into being following the demise of the Tommy Murphy Cup.

Brennan argues that many counties are being completely unrealistic with regard to their capabilities and status, and that their strong opposition to the continuation to the Murphy Cup will do them no good whatsoever.

"It’ll eventually dawn on the football fraternity that there’s probably two levels. I don’t think they’re being realistic.

"There’s been such negative talk from all the counties about (the Murphy Cup) that it probably needs to rest for a while and come back perhaps in another shape.

"Occasionally, somebody will come through a round or two (of the All-Ireland qualifiers) but ultimately the teams that are playing in the Tommy Murphy Cup have a lot of work to do.

"I saw a very interesting piece of information today that I had forgotten about where not so long ago Wexford played in the Tommy Murphy Cup final and we see the sort of progress they have made.

“I’m not suggesting that that they used the Tommy Murphy Cup but maybe at the end of the day they had an attitude that we’ll try and work our way out of the situation and work our way up."

But while Brennan is keen to see the weaker counties accommodated in what he views as the best manner possible,t here is no doubt that many of those sides who have flirted with the Tommy Murphy Cup would much prefer to be immersed in the All Ireland Qualifers.

Antrim have brought the curtain down on their ‘08 campaign on a high note by becoming the last winners of the trophy but they are among the sides anxious to test themselves against bigger fish.

“While the Tommy Murphy Cup has been the level we have been at, obviously you always want to move up in the world. We are very keen to achieve this as soon as we can,” says manager Jody Gormley who has now silverware to show.

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