Football championship is wide open

Armagh captain Steven McDonnell believes this year’s football championship is set to be one of the most open in recent years.

The star forward agrees that defending champions Cork are favourites to lift the Sam Maguire Cup again this September, but believes that none of the top teams will fear the rebels this summer.

“Not only is it the most open Ulster championship in years, it’s also the most open All-Ireland in quite some time,” McDonnell told The Irish Examiner.

“Cork are the team to beat, they’ve won the last three national titles and they are a real force. But the one thing they don’t have going for them is fear. Dublin, Kerry, Tyrone and Down will feel they can beat them. Dublin were seven points up on them with ten minutes to go in the league final.

“Kerry will never fear Cork, Tyrone still believe they let it slip against Cork in 2009 and Down were well ahead of them in last year’s All-Ireland final. By extension, ourselves and Down are evenly matched in Ulster so we would have no qualms about facing Cork either.

“I’m not taking anything away from Cork. They are a great team to finish a game, they are the kingpins but the top counties will still fancy their chances of going all the way this year.”


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