Paths of the Dead - The All Ireland SFC Qualifiers & All Ireland QF Thread 2017


Good ideas @BohemianDub, but, can’t see provincials being done away with, IMO there’s too many suits with handy numbers, that have a lot of pull in football circles still involved at provincial level and once provincials are still generating money, regardless of the type of football being produced, they’ll stay.
And realistically it’s only Munster & Leinster that’s one sided,I honestly believe if any of them gave a shite about the actual football side of things we’d have seen a similar tiered competition like the Hurling long before now.
And IMO the tiered system in Hurling,although, I really believe it’s bringing on hurling in weaker counties, was put in place because Connaught & Ulster Provincial Councils couldn’t have been arsed to invest better time and money in Hurling once the footballers are filling coffers…(rant over).


I don’t agree the tiered structure has done anything for Antrim, Kerry, Laois and Carlow. They don’t get enough games against the top teams. the only way they would improve on a consistent basis is by playing the top tier teams


Sure half the problem was they were getting hammered by the top level. Carlow seem to be the only ones investing at underage, and I can see them doing better down the road than the other three. Don’t know what’s happening with Laois, I know a lot involved in Hurling down there and the investment was squandered as far as they’re concerned, and believe there’s more dirty laundry going to be aired…


Super 8 was invented to give Sky more important matches for their buck.

The NFL in America is the antithesis of competition, not the shining light. You want true competition which isn’t hampered or contrived look at the EPL. I would have added formula one but for the heritage payment Ferrari gets.

The reality is that by 2040 5million people are probably going to live in the greater Dublin area. The GAA are already planning for it with this new eastern county funding thing.

Ireland never had rural to urban population transfer till the 1990’s, most left the country altogether. Now it’s a reality and a massive challenge.

Super 8 in ten years will be drawn from Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Laois, Kerry, cork, Galway, Antrim, Waterford, Westmeath


Here we go again with inequities and poor little teams getting bet up. Am I confusing you with someone who was around in the 70s and and 80s when frequently just TWO teams hammered most opposition til at least semifinals and often til the final and in 78 and 79 when one team hammered everyone. Unlike the last few years when the winning team struggled to the wire thru both semis and finals.


Preparation in the 70s al was a packet of fags and 2 Guinness . Lads are expected to give up everything for nothing now . Comparing the two eras is nonsensical


Thanks Bart - I was actually preparing a tongue-in-cheek response about Al living in a time warp since, but your response essentially does so succinctly.


Didn’t see the first game Trueblueforever. ‘Experts’ said that Mayo went back to their running game and this reaped rewards. FGS the Rossies were like startled earwigs…remember them!..they were so leaden footed right from the throw in. I think they must have played without any fear the first day as huge underdogs. However when the expectation was heaped on them they folded. Young team though and they did well to win Connacht and get so close to an AISF.

I know Kerry are vulnerable at the back to running attacks but I am sure EF will have a plan to protect the backs such as stopping the runs at source with their half forwards and a sweeper such as Maher or Barry especially if AOS is in at FF. I still think Mayo forwards are not as good at taking scores as Kerry’s and depend too much on half backs for scores. Who played FB for Mayo yesterday?

I expect Yerras to prevail by 3 or 4 if JOD is fit.


An intercounty player from a weak county in the 70s and 80s didn’t have to put his life on hold with nothing in return. . He trained similar to most other counties, he had a social life and looked forward to representing his county against some of the big guns. There was a sense of fair play even though they knew it was very unlikely they would win.
This allowed the odd occasion where someone like Offaly were able to keep a group together and win an All Ireland. Derry and Down in the nineties.
I think with strength and conditioning, nutrition and resources the gap is widening. The stronger teams are getting more of an edge in preparation which is pushing them further down the road. Yes there is 4 teams competing now as opposed to 2 teams years ago .
But the weaker counties players are not making themselves available in some circumstances now and that for me is a problem in an Amateur sport.
I don’t think it should be about making an weak county feel they have an chance of winning an All Ireland (that’s not going to happen). But they should feel wanted and part of the set up.


That’s rubbish. Have you seen pictures of those top players circa 82-85? Extremely fit and also ripped. Except for Joe McNally. Anyway it’s all relative, different times, different conditioning, same gap, but if anything more teams well in contention, much better contests in semifinals and finals, much better than the last decade too in fact. Ah the grass was always greener in the good old days. The summers were all great. The game was so much better spectacle. And little Leitrim were always in contention for honors.
Sometimes I do wonder at our Irish capacity for whining and wailing about how every new day the sky is falling in.


Good Jesus, did a glass just smash there? I think yis have all been at the kool-aid in granny’s secret closet


I just watched the 1990 hurling final earlier this evening. Pretty poor fare to be quite frank.

I thought I was watching it on wide screen … but I wasn’t. It was just the players …


I also marvel at our capacity to hang onto the past and continue to ignore a failing process . But I suppose the Irish health system reminds me of the Inter county championship

Leitrim were competitive Al in the 80s and 90s. They are now the San Marino of the GAA

This current structure just doesn’t work as a product anymore. But you’re entitled to your opinion to be Teflon about it …


Not teflon at all, for example I don’t agree with the Super 8 idea one bit.
My point here is that these ‘problems’ have existed for decades. The issue here is about professionalism, not the red herring of inequity between teams. And as soon as Dublin don’t win Sam, this year or more so for a couple of years, that sort of talk will die right down because despite the veneer of including Kerry, Tyrone & Mayo in the mantra right now, it’s really always been about Dublin winning All-Is, and it’s trotted out when we have any sort of easy win against mediocre oppo (the least easy win of the 4 games in fact, when you discount the sham of the first Mayo-Ros game), and when we have any sort of a win in an All-I final.

Dublin lose this year, and I guarantee you all the articles will be about how it’s the greatest championship in many years, and “just like the good old days”. When Kerry and Tyrone dominated for 8 years and all was well with the world. Wasn’t it? And if Mayo beat Tyrone in the final, sure isn’t that what the GAA should be all about? “Young Lads Can Start to Dream Again”, says The Examiner, as the spectre of the metropolitan juggernaut is repelled (and who also happened to campaign for Joe McQuillan not to be given the Tyrone-Dublin game.)


Thus debate goes on and on, but I have not yet seen one suggestion that would change anything. Realistically.
A; You are always going to have a small top group.
B: You are always going to have the odd team tthat breaks through for a year or two, Donegal this decade,Armagh the last one.
C; You will always have a group of no hopers.
D: You are then left with a group of counties that should really be doing more and IMO opinion that what should be focussed on.
It still probably wouldnt change that much, but it would make the chasing bigger and more competitive.


Well said P. I’m sure Rufus will find that nice and succinct.


Have a league structure and forget the championship . The problem is the unwillingness to change it by too many parties stuck in the past . And now they want to create an elite structure to make things even worse . Every other sport has a league structure as their main competition
Except us