Cork Footballers

Clare deservedly beat us in championship last year, and have us at their home again for what is for them (and probably for us) a knockout game. We're up against it, and it'll take a great performance, and perhaps a bit of luck, to come out of there this year with a result.
Coughlan at centre forward for them is a big worry for us, particularly if Rory Maguire comes back in centre back and will give him all the space in the world to do damage. They also have an excellent manager in Mark Fitzgerald and would not surprise me if he outsmarts Cleary tactically.
 
It's not mad. You might have a better idea, but to call it "mad" is inaccurate when there has been clear logical thought put into it. With the current arrangement, there's a reward for every position in the group:

1st gets a quarter final against a team which is mentally and physically exhausted.
2nd gets a home preliminary quarter final
3rd is at least still in it - they get a preliminary quarter final, but it's away
4th is gone.

I don't see the problem (or at least not a madness) with having a competition where every team gets at least 3 matches, the outcome of which determines the above.

The situation with Dublin is an entirely different problem. Long term, given urbanization but not only that, if we want to achieve the following:
  1. a properly competitive national GAA football competition amongst representative teams (i.e. teams of the best players in a broad geographical area of many clubs), and
  2. football successful at ground level everywhere,
then those geographical areas can't be based on county-bounds set up by the Anglo-Normans or whoever. Otherwise you get far too uncompetitive a situation - the most extreme example being Dublin, who will otherwise win most All-Irelands until there's a profound failure of football in Dublin (and what GAA person wants that really).
Spot on about Dublin. The GAA has two imperatives which are pulling against each other: to get as many people as possible playing the games to a decent level, and to have genuinely competitive intercounty championships. When some counties have vastly larger populations than others, pursuing the first imperative is in effect giving them a competitive advantage. Obviously there are other things which could be done in the specific case of Dublin (e.g., the farce of Croke Park being a neutral venue for them) but in the long term something else will be required to rebalance intercounty football.
 
I watched most of the Kerry v Clare yesterday.

Cork will have their hands full against Clare. They will be tough to put away. Certainly no pushover, particularly in their home ground.
Definitely. No idea why so many people seemed to be assuming that Cork would beat them in their own patch. For me it's a fifty-fifty game at best. At least Cork's performances in the latter stages of the league and in Killarney offer hope that the team is getting sone some degree of confidence and cohesion.

One huge worry is midfield - Cork were by all accounts destroyed there in the second half against Clare last year, and management have introduced precisely zero new options there since then. A big burden is going to fall on O'Callaghan, and if he runs himself into the ground who could come on for him?
 
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Coughlan at centre forward for them is a big worry for us, particularly if Rory Maguire comes back in centre back and will give him all the space in the world to do damage. They also have an excellent manager in Mark Fitzgerald and would not surprise me if he outsmarts Cleary tactically.
Maguire will surely not come back in at CB?
 
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