John Meyler sees no issue with playing matches over three successive weekends

Ex-Cork manager believes the round-robin format is manageable as well as successful

Former Cork manager John Meyler believes that there is no issue with teams having to play three championship matches in successive weeks. He was talking about next year's hurling championship schedules, confirmed on Thursday, which see Munster confirming the format that sees certain counties having to play those intensive schedules.

Leinster also confirmed that their alternative, which by staggering the third round avoids the three matches in quick succession, will continue.

“Everybody says that the standards are near professional at this stage and playing week in, week out is what professionals do but for an extended period.

“It’s also about using your squad and managing injuries and resting players, and working out who can and who can’t play three games in 13 days. That’s the way it goes. You have to hit the ground running. The other thing is that the quality of the games improved from playing every week.”



Meyler, who guided Cork through the first two seasons of the round-robin provincial format and won Munster in 2018, stepped down at the end of this summer after defeat by Kilkenny in the All-Ireland quarter-final and has been succeeded by Kieran Kingston.

He doesn’t see the Munster format, which rotates the teams having to play three successive weekends, as being a problem in the modern game.

“I think it’s fantastic from the point of view of having regular games and I thought even the three matches in 13 days worked well. It’s what people want and promotes the game far better. Attendances last year were nearly double those in 2017 and increased again this year. If you supply a decent programme of entertainment, with a game every weekend people will go to it.

"I think the most important thing for teams is to get a good start and particularly if you're playing at home because that creates a double pressure. We lost at home to Tipperary this year and although we recovered well by winning in Limerick we were under pressure from the start."

Meanwhile, the unexpected two-week deferral of the process to appoint a new Clare hurling manager may re-open the door for the outgoing Donal Moloney, who announced at the weekend that he was withdrawing from the process in protest at how it had been conducted.


Clare county board voted on Wednesday to reopen the process before the recommendation of an interview board, which had interviewed two candidates, Brian Lohan and Louis Mulqueen, who is believed to have been the preferred option, was put before the meeting.

The decision was taken after a motion proposed by Dan Treacy of Scariff, Moloney's club, to re-start the process by inviting expressions of interest before Monday week.

The county senior hurlers had also expressed misgivings with the process in a statement earlier this week.

An independent committee has been appointed to conduct the new process. It will comprise county chair Joe Cooney, former county hurler Colm Honan, Michael O'Connor, Niall Romer and former county chair, Michael O'Neill.

Round one (May 9th/10th): Limerick v Cork, Tipperary v Waterford, Clare bye. 
Round two (May16th/17th): Waterford v Limerick, Clare v Tipperary, Cork bye. 
Round three (May 30th/31st): Limerick v Clare, Cork v Waterford, Tipperary bye. 
Round four (June 6th/7th): Clare v Cork, Tipperary v Limerick, Waterford bye. 
Round five (June 13th/14th): Cork v Tipperary, Waterford v Clare, Limerick bye.

Round one (May 9th/10th): Dublin v Kilkenny, Laois v Galway, Wexford bye. 
Round two (May 16th/17th): Kilkenny v Laois, Wexford v Dublin, Galway bye. 
Round three A (May 23rd/24th): Wexford v Galway. Round three B May 30th/31st): Dublin v Laois.
Round four (June 6th/7th): Laois v Wexford, Galway v Kilkenny, Dublin bye. 
Round five (June 13th/14th): Kilkenny v Wexford, Galway v Dublin, Laois bye.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times