GAA deserve credit for optimal format that keeps players happy - Mannion on split-season

August 25, 2023

Kilmacud's Paul Mannion and Ethan Doherty of Glen ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Dublin star Paul Mannion says he’s a strong supporter of the split-season format, says it has been a positive for both club and county players.

The Kilmacud Crokes clubman was speaking in an interview with this week when backing the split-season model and credited the GAA for finding “an optimal format that keeps players happy”.

“It actually bugs me a bit hearing pundits and media folk go on like, ‘oh, we didn't have a chance to promote these games well,’ like this kind of nonsense. The split-season was brought in for players, and to give club players and county players a chance to focus on both. I think it's been welcomed by everyone,” said the seven-time All-Ireland SFC winner.

“There were times when the [inter-county] season was ending at the end of September or early October for no reason. You had weeks between games and then a club season squished in. It's disrespectful almost to hear some people giving out about not having a chance to promote games and this kind of stuff.

“They forget about the reason this kind of format was introduced in the first place. So, I don't think it's necessarily the time frame and that kind of 67-month window that's hindering attendances or viewers, that kind of thing.

“I think that the format this year maybe wasn't totally optimized and that's been well documented. But the GAA definitely deserve a lot of credit for trying to find something new and trying to find, you know, an optimal format that keeps players happy, that keeps supporters happy.

“I'm sure that there will be a few more tweaks to it, but that's all you can do. Try something new, get to the end of the season, review, and then try and improve. I'm sure we'll get to a space where everyone is happy.”

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