McKenna Cup could have pre-Christmas start

November 09, 2018

Donegal's Conor Morrison and Darren McCurry of Tyrone chase possession during the McKenna Cup final at the Athletic Grounds

The Ulster Council could follow their Leinster counterparts' lead by starting their pre-season inter-county football competition before Christmas.

Leinster GAA has scheduled the first two rounds of the O'Byrne Cup for December 8 and 15 to alleviate some of the congestion problems that they ran into earlier this year due to inclement weather, and Ulster may follow suit with their scheduling of the Dr McKenna Cup. Having reached the All-Ireland final, however, Tyrone are not allowed to start collective training until December 29 due to the inter-county winter training ban.

"We have looked at trying, maybe, to start it earlier. We are still trying to move it forward, condense games," Ulster GAA PRO Michael Geoghegan told the Irish Examiner.

“You have to be mindful of the fact that if counties were involved in the latter stages of the All-Ireland championship then they cannot return to play/training until into December. Tyrone, because of reaching the All-Ireland final, will be starting back much later than other counties. You have to work around those permutations.”

Make sure to join the match tracker on Sunday afternoon for live updates from the provincial club senior football and hurling championships.

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