Dublin to learn their route to six-in-a-row bid on Monday
Provincial draws to be staggered over three days on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland next week
Dublin’s Ciaran Kilkenny in action during last year’s quarter-final against Laois. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Dublin can begin thinking about their fix for six from next Monday morning when the draw takes place for the 2020 Leinster championship – their first step towards making yet more football history with a sixth successive All-Ireland.
In a new departure from recent years, the GAA have agreed to stage each of the provincial football championship draws over three successive mornings on RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland show, beginning on Monday with the Leinster draw (from 8.30am).
Presenter Darren Frehill will host each of the draws along with representatives of the provincial councils and the GAA. On Tuesday morning, it will be the turn of Connacht and Munster, with the draw from the Ulster football championship taking place on the Wednesday morning.
Each of the draws will be available to watch on the RTÉ News Now channel and the RTÉ Website. In recent years, all the draws were made together in the one evening, going out live on RTÉ television.
“The essential format of each of the provincial draws remain the same,” said Alan Milton, GAA head of communications, “it was just decided to go with something different in the way they are presented”.
The Leinster Council had given some consideration to the option of Dublin getting a bye straight into the semi-finals of their football championship, thereby making the earlier rounds that bit more evenly competitive, but it was agreed instead to stick with the existing format where as one the four semi-finalists from the previous year, they will only get a bye into the quarter-finals.
However there is some adjustment in that Leinster have decided to introduce a semi-final draw, to be made on the Sunday night that the quarter-final winners are known, which means the semi-finalists won’t know if they are on the Dublin side of the draw until two weeks out from that game (presuming Dublin get through, naturally).
As in recent years Dublin will likely play that quarter-final away from Croke Park: this year they played their quarter-final against Louth at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, winning 5-21 to 0-10; that whopping 26-point win included 1-12 from Cormac Costello and goals from Con O’Callaghan, Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh Macauley and Philly McMahon.
Dublin haven’t lost a game in the Leinster championship since the 2010 semi-final defeat to Meath, and next year will be seeking a record 10th successive title.
Some other specifics of the provincial draws have been pre-determined in advance: in Connacht, for example, county teams play London and New York on a rotational basis. Mayo played New York this year, it’s Galway’s turn in 2020, with Roscommon lined up to play London in 2020.
Since the Munster and Leinster hurling championships moved to a round-robin format since 2018, no provincial draws are necessary, the exact 2020 dates and venues to be confirmed in the coming weeks. What is certain is that All-Ireland champions Tipperary, who began their 2019 Munster campaign away to Cork, will this time have home advantage in Semple Stadium for their opening championship game of 2020.
The GAA have also confirmed the details of the five motions that will be voted on during Special Congress on October 19th at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The first motion deals with the structure of All Ireland Senior Football Championship, proposing that a Tier Two competition be introduced for all National League Division 3 and 4 Counties (excluding counties that are qualified for their respective Provincial Championship Finals in the competition year, and the previous year’s Tier 2 Championship Winners, if still a National League Division 3 or 4 county).
It has also emerged that if the format is given two-thirds support, a debate will then take place over what league placings will be used to determine the make-up of the Two-Tier format.
Cork and Tipperary were relegated from Division 2 earlier this year, for example, and Laois and Westmeath were promoted from Division 3. Central Council is set to propose that the composition of the divisions at the start of the league next January will count for the placings in the 2020 championship. In response, the Tipperary county board have put forward a motion that argues the composition of the divisions should be based at the end of the 2020 league on the promotion and relegation outcomes.
Other motions to be debated include the Advanced Mark (which is being proposed by Ard Chomhairle/Standing Committee on Playing Rules), the introduction of a Sin Bin for a Black Card offence, and amending the kick-out rule in Gaelic Football.
Meanwhile former Clare All-Ireland winner Brian Lohan has put his name in the mix for the county hurling manager’s position. Last month Gerry O’Connor stepped down as joint manager with Donal Moloney, who is however looking to continue for another year. The county board hope to have a final list of candidates by this weekend, only Lohan, who was critical of certain county preparations in the past, will certainly gain some attention.