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Peter McGrath: "What the GAA has done with the Super 8s and so on almost sanitised the whole thing"


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As the 2018 All Ireland Football championship kicks off this weekend as Leitrim make the trip to face New York, this year will be the first to feature the Super 8 phase. 

That will kick in for the eight remaining teams in the Championship. But would Pete McGrath have preferred to see even more radical changes to the All Ireland, like the introduction of a B Championship for the less heralded counties?

The Louth manager was speaking to Off The Ball's John Duggan at the Leinster GAA launch and shared his view.  

"I'd be totally opposed to any kind of tiering of the Championship. I feel that the Sam Maguire, as a person, has an awful lot to answer for, because that name conjures up to every young player - that's what they're aspiring to, to play and win the Sam Maguire," he said.

"I think that what the GAA has done with the Super 8s and so on almost sanitised the whole thing to a large extent and I think they are removing the whole element of what can happen unexpectedly - the underdog, the romance, the drama of sport - and I think if they had tiered the Championships, there could have been some players and some counties who would be condemned eternally to play in those particular competitions and never get a crack at the real thing ie Sam Maguire. And that might seem a bit naively romantic but I think sport has to be quite romantic."

He added that counties should be "ambitious enough" to work on their structures and aim for the highest level possible.

 


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