Brolly calls for three-tier football championship

May 13, 2019

Joe Brolly

Joe Brolly says Gaelic football should follow ladies football's lead by introducing a three-tier championship.

Brolly was speaking after Roscommon's 14-point drubbing of Leitrim in the first round of the Connacht SFC at Hyde Park yesterday. Ladies football has three tiers - senior, intermediate and junior - and the former Derry star said on the Sunday Game they "are so far ahead of us when it comes to this and there's no reason why it wouldn't work for us."

He continued: "It's cruel what's happening and until teams like Leitrim are treated with the same respect in the association as Kerry and Dublin and Tyrone and Mayo, we do not have an equitable, fair association.

"You look at Leitrim's Division 4 campaign which was terrific and fun. They played some terrific football at their level. It was their first time in Croke Park in 12 years. Emlyn Mulligan had never played there. Leitrim gaels from all over the world assembled in Croke Park.

"And then you get this thoroughly deflating experience today which was absolutely inevitable. The sooner we get to a situation where we've got a competitive championship that mirrors the league. We need at least three tiers.

"Two tiers will not be enough because the teams in Division 4 need that slightly special treatment - call it The Bomber Liston [Cup], The Mikey Sheehy [Cup], something like that - afford them respect, give them a vibrant championship where they play their All-Ireland on All-Ireland final day with the other two tiers and you've got a festival of football.

"It works brilliantly for the Ladies [LGFA]. They are so far ahead of us when it comes to this and there's no reason why it wouldn't work for us.

"Managers like Ciaran Deely from London, Jack Cooney from Westmeath - they're saying exactly what we all know to be the reality, 'Give us a vibrant championship at our level that is treated with respect and has the same money pumped into it where we're playing three All-Ireland finals on the same day in Croke Park'."

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