Galway propose Open Draw for All Ireland

    The Galway Hurling Review Group has proposed an open draw for the All Ireland senior hurling championship, a Champions League style group stage for the Under-21 series and an overhaul of the club championship going forward.

    The group which was formed after the Tribesmens poor performance in this seasons hurling championship has made 79 proposals in total. Delegates also found that playing in the Leinster senior championship was welcomed by the majority of those questioned, despite the fact that few wished to participate at underage level.

    “The almost unanimous feedback from clubs, players and officials indicates that there is no appetite for the county minor and U-21 teams to participate in the Leinster championship,” the report states.

    The review was chaired by former GAA president Joe McDonagh and included former managers and players such as Cyril Farrell, Conor Hayes, Sean Silke, Pete Finnerty and Ollie Canning. The findings also said that Galway “should develop and solicit support from other counties for an open-draw All Ireland series at inter-county senior championship level.”

    It also believed that the U-21 championship should be divided into four groups of four teams — 16 teams competed in the 2011 championship — with the winners of each group qualifying for the semi-finals.

    “We know hurling needs to be improved. The U-21 championship is a high-quality competition and this would be a way of improving it,” said McDonagh.

    “This proposal lends itself without conflicting with the strongly held views about the provincial championships in Leinster and Munster. It is not a trial run for doing it at senior, but it’s worth experimenting.”

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