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Antrim boss Kevin Ryan calls for end to provincial competitions

Updated: Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 14:04 | Comments

Antrim are out of this year's competitions
Antrim are out of this year's competitions

Antrim manager Kevin Ryan has called for an immediate revamp of the structure of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship and an end to  all provincial competitions.

The Saffrons are now out of the Liam MacCarthy Cup following Saturday's loss to Wexford and their ambitions weren't helped by having a five week gap between matches.

Antrim beat Westmeath before losing to Laois in the first round in Leinster and then exited the qualifiers at the hands of the Model County.

Ryan told RTÉ Sport: “It is a huge problem. The way the thing is set up, you finish the league and you’re playing two or three weeks later in the Championship.

"You have one or two games and then you’re waiting six weeks. It is not easy for the lads to keep focused or for clubs to put up with it.

"I think it is doing a disservice to hurling. We do more to keep things down rather than promote teams.

"I know it is not deliberate but that is the way you would feel with the likes of Carlow and Antrim and I’m sure Westmeath at times would feel the same.

"I think the whole draw of nine teams in Leinster and five teams in Munster is ridiculous.

"The winner of the Munster semi-finals, which is one game, are into an All-Ireland quarter-final. It just doesn’t add up. We have about five games to get to that stage. It is very unbalanced.

"I would absolutely be in favour of four groups of four and seeded.

"The top two teams would be in the All-Ireland quarter-finals and the bottom two teams in the Christy Ring quarter-finals.

"I’m a Munster man and love the Munster final and the whole thing about it. But I think the provincial set-up is just ridiculous."

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