TYRONE star Padraig Hampsey doesn’t believe there will be a sufficient window in the season for the GAA to finish the National Leagues despite their stated aims to do so.
In a statement last week Croke Park outlined their hopes that both the NFL and NHL campaigns would be completed at some stage in 2020, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
GAA across all codes has been suspended until May 5th at the very earliest, though expectations are that a further suspension will have to be introduced. The GAA has announced that Senior inter-county championships, will be postponed until further clarity on the current situation is available. However, it is the Association’s view that it is highly unlikely that these will be rescheduled any time before the beginning of July, at the earliest.
With matters of promotion and relegation still to be decided in the Leagues, the GAA are keen to see the last two rounds of matches played, but Padraig Hampsey can’t see it being likely given the Championship also has to be squeezed in when action eventually resumes.
“ I can’t see the League being finished. We had a good win against Dublin in the last game and we were coming into a bit of form. It’s just a pity things turned out the way they did because I think we were hitting a good patch. That’s a positive we can take out of the League, but I can’t see any way to get the rest of it played.”
Last Friday Special Congress handed emergency powers to the GAA’s management committee enabling it to make alterations to the remainder of the inter-county season as they see fit.
This temporary governance structure, brought about because of the Covid19 crisis, could yet result in a unique All-Ireland Championship open draw. Recently Conor Meyler stated that most players would be in favour of any sort of revamped structure if it helped preserve the 2020 Championship, and his views were echoed by his county colleague Hampsey.
“ It would be a bit different to what we’re used to, but it would make it exciting if it was straight knock-out, winner takes all. I think it would be a good idea, if it meant we were getting any sort of football at all, I would say go ahead with it and run it that way.”
Meanwhile last week the Ulster Council reacted to the health crisis by making a couple of decisions in an effort to create more space in a tightening calendar, and to allow its nine counties to make contingency plans for their respective club competitions.
The 2020 Ulster Club Football Leagues, Buncrana Cup (U16 Football League), and Ulster Minor Football Leagues were all cancelled with immediate effect.
The 2020 Ulster Minor Football Championship has also reverted to a straight knockout format and that the draw will mirror the Ulster Senior Football Championship draw, with Tyrone away to Donegal.