‘If you asked me if I’d like to play in a second-tier championship, the answer would be: ‘No”

CARLOW MANAGER TURLOUGH O’Brien has been one of the most vocal opponents of a move to a two-tier football championship, which GAA President John Horan has said he intends to introduce during his reign.

Paul Broderick, one of O’Brien’s most trusted lieutenants on the field, has reiterated the Carlow squad’s opposition to a ‘B’ championship coming into play.

A survey released by the GPA last week suggests inter-county players have become more open to such a move, but Broderick feels that may be coming from the stronger counties.

“I suppose the best guiding light for anything probably is experience,” says Broderick

“And having experienced the very bottom rung of Division 4 and losing heavily to teams for years, there’s no experience like that to let you know where you are. 

“If you ask any player in Division 4 who’s experienced those types of beatings in league or championship, and they’re still all against it. I can’t speak for all of them but most are against it. 

“I know most of the lads in our panel would be against a ‘B’ championship. And I think that maybe, yeah, it is a lack of experience of being down there to know what it feels like. It feels like you’re maybe being ushered off to make way for those greater teams on the greater stage. 

“It takes away that chance of that day that we had against Kildare.”

Carlow secured a famous Leinster SFC quarter-final victory over Kildare during the summer – their win first over the Lilywhites in 65 years.

Broderick feels lower-tier counties would be denied the chance to take out big guns if a secondary competition is introduced.

“I don’t know. It’s very difficult. If you asked me would I like to play in a second-tier championship, the answer would be: ‘No.’ But if you asked me do I think we’re going to win the All-Ireland in the ‘A’, the answer is no as well. 

“I know that people ask questions, you know, would you not prefer to be in something that you thik you could realistically win. 

“I know it’s one in 65 years, but what the likes of Carlow beating Kildare has done for Carlow football, we mightn’t reap the rewards of what that has done. 

“I know from talking to a good friend of mine, Sean Gannon, who works for Carlow GAA, the academies are full, the Cúl Camps are full. 

“No disrespect to the teams who’d be playing, we’re one of those who would be playing in a second tier, but they’re not going to garner the same respect and enthusiasm from the public in Carlow, I don’t think anyway. 

“It’s hard to know without trialling something like this, but it was trialled before and it didn’t work. For what reasons, I’m not really sure. 

“At the moment I wouldn’t be in favour of it. Not the way its currently put forward anyway. ”

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