Tailteann Cup: 'I hate it' - McConville on format of new second-tier competition

The final of the Tailteann Cup will take place at Croke Park on 9 July
The final of the Tailteann Cup will take place at Croke Park on 9 July

Former Armagh All-Ireland winner Oisin McConville believes the GAA missed an opportunity to "really mix it up" with the Tailteann Cup.

The draw for the inaugural second-tier of the All-Ireland was made on Monday and McConville criticised the planned north/south divide.

"I hate it," McConville told the BBC.

"It was a tough, hard sell to begin with and I don't think we need to dilute it in any way, but I think players are up in arms about this."

Cavan have been drawn at home to Down in the northern section of the first round of the inaugural competition.

Antrim are away to Leitrim, Fermanagh travel to Longford and Sligo host London in the rest of the northern section.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound Extra Time, McConville said dividing the draw is "disappointing".

"From a players' point of view and a managers' point of view, we had a situation during Covid where we had leagues and they were divided into north and south sections.

"You know what? I think everybody accepted it. It wasn't ideal but we were thankful that players were getting games.

"Now we have had an opportunity to really mix it up and to put teams against each other who would never have had the opportunity to play against each other before.

'GAA have missed the boat' - Harte

Despite criticising the draw, McConville added he "wants it to work for everyone involved and everyone who has invested in it".

Former Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, who is currently in charge of Louth, added it is "too late" to market the competition. The preliminary rounds begin on 21-22 May.

"It should have been marketed before now. It should have been attractive for the teams who will find themselves in there and I don't think it has been made an attractive event for them.

"I think we have really missed the boat this time."

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