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Terry Hyland's Championship overhaul suggestion

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

16:21 25 Apr 2019

Leitrim manager Terry Hyland believes the team's Croke Park experience will stand them in good stead this summer.

Speaking to Maire Treasa Ni Cheallaigh, Hyland feels that experience in the Division 4 final will help the players at Hyde Park when they face Roscommon in their Conancht Championship opener.

"The highlight is the football and the highlight is Roscommon and the Championship and the big crowds and getting the team out and get them to perform in front of those crowds," he said.

"And I think Croke Park will be a help to them in that. Because they have experience now of what it's like to play in front of bigger crowds than 4-5000. It brings a totally different challenge.

Good test

"They're playing a team that's more conditioned than them and has been longer on the road than them.

"But it's a good test for Leitrim to see how they perform and how they hold in there in the game."

On Championship structures, the ex-Cavan manager also believes a more compressed calendar would be more beneficial.

"I was asked this when I was with Cavan. To be honest, the Championship is crazy length of a season," he said.

"It's all about stopping and starting. I said, 'These guys have been training since November. They can play at least every other week and the Championship could be shortened up. Just compress the thing.'

"If they manage that right, I don't think it would suffer."

Hyland is proposing a different type of calendar and structure.

"People want games and spectators want games. Maybe move the National League more into a summertime type scenario and change the title of the All-Ireland as being the 'All-in factor' as being the cup as they call it. Maybe integrate it someway into a league system."

Maire Treasa also chatted to Sligo's Niall Murphy, who is looking to bounce back from a tough league.

"Unfortunately we got relegated this year. But it was a huge learning curve for our lads and for the management team," he said.

"We've got a lot of young lads coming up this year and all the new lads in the panel. I suppose the positives is that they were able to get a bit of game-time."

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Connacht Championship GAA Gaelic Football Leitrim Maire Treasa Ni Cheallaigh Off The Ball Roscommon

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