It looks as if the GAA are set to unveil their proposals for this year’s Championships in the near future. An announcement on that is now expected as early as Monday next.
Damian Lawlor was on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland show this morning and he sketched out the bones of the GAA’s plans as he understood them – his subsequent piece on the RTÉ website is here.
This reveals that the GAA is planning a straight knockout format for the football Championship using as its basis the provincial draws that were made last October. For us, in case you’ve forgotten, that would mean an opening round trip to Páirc Seán MacDiarmada to face Leitrim, with the winners going on to play defending provincial champions Roscommon in the semi-final.
Ahead of all that, though, there’s the small matter of the final two rounds of the National League to be sorted. It now looks as if these haven’t, after all, gone away and so our battle to avoid relegation from the top division will apparently be decided in the second half of October prior to the Championship getting going.
This outline of the emerging GAA plans was, it should be noted, published before the Government this evening unveiled its latest acceleration of the reopening programme. It’s not clear if the Government announcement will mean an earlier start to the inter-county action than was mooted this morning but I guess we’ll find out for sure when the GAA reveal their revised fixtures plans for the remainder of the year as they’re set to do soon.
The LGFA, meanwhile, have opted to dispense with provincial competitions this year and will instead play off their senior football Championship – a tournament comprising twelve counties – using a round-robin format. Four teams – including Mayo – will be seeded, with the placing of the remaining eight counties decided by an open draw. Further details on the LGFA’s Championship plans for 2020 are here.
The GAA’s apparent decision to stick with the provincial Championships this year came in for a bit of stick on RTÉ’s GAA podcast, which featured Kevin McStay and Dessie Dolan. More on that here.