Allianz FL Division 1
Monaghan v Armagh, St Mary's Park, Castleblayney, 6.30pm
Mayo v Galway, Hastings MacHale Park 7.30pm

Allianz FL Division 2
Derry v Limerick, Owenbeg, 3pm
Dublin v Kildare, Croke Park, 5pm

Allianz FL Division 3
Fermanagh v Longford, Ederney, 2pm
Tipperary v Down, FBD Semple Stadium, 6pm

Allianz FL Division 4
Carlow v Wicklow, Netwatch Cullen Park, 7pm
Wexford v London, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 7pm


Allianz FL Division 1
Roscommon v Tyrone, Dr Hyde Park, 1.30pm
Donegal v Kerry, Ballybofey, 2pm

Allianz FL Division 2
Cork v Meath, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 1.30pm
Clare v Louth, Cusack Park, Ennis, 2pm

Allianz FL Division 3
Westmeath v Cavan, TEG Cusack Park, 2pm
Antrim v Offaly, Corrigan Park, 2pm

Allianz FL Division 4
Leitrim v Waterford, Avant Money Páirc Seán MacDiarmada, 1pm
Sligo v Laois, Markievicz Park, 2pm

Live blogs each day on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app.

Live commentaries and updates on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday and Sunday Sport.

On Saturday, Hastings MacHale Park is the venue for the clash of Mayo v Galway, with the Division 1 game live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player from 7.15pm. Also on Saturday, BBC iPlayer will have live coverage of another top-tier encounter, as Monaghan v Armagh meet in Castleblayney. TG4 cameras will be in Croke Park for the meeting of Dublin v Kildare in Division 2, with coverage starting at 4.30pm.

On Sunday, beginning at 1.15pm, TG4 will be live in Ballybofey as Donegal host reigning Division 1 champions Kerry. The games involving Roscommon and Tyrone in Division 1 and the Division 2 clash of Cork and Meath can be viewed live on from 1.30pm - with a deferred showing of both on TG4 from 4pm.

Viewers worldwide can watch Monaghan v Armagh on GAAGO. Dublin v Kildare, Mayo v Galway, Cork v Meath, Roscommon v Tyrone and Donegal v Kerry are available to view live outside the island of Ireland.

Highlights and reaction to all the weekend's action on Allianz League Sunday, RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, 9.30pm.

Saturday will be rather cloudy and dull across Leinster and Munster with lingering patches of light rain and mist, though generally dry. Brighter elsewhere with some sunny spells and mostly dry conditions. Highest temperatures of 7 to 10 degrees with light southwest breezes veering northwesterly.

Sunday will be cloudy and outbreaks of rain will mainly affect Connacht and Ulster, turning heavier here later in the day. Generally dry elsewhere for daylight hours with a mix of cloud and sunny spells, though some rain will arrive during the evening. Highest temperatures of 9 to 11 degrees in freshening westerly winds. For more go to

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And off we go again

Unlike its hurling counterpart, the Allianz Football League by an large retains a high level of competitiveness. That said in this year where space in the calendar is at a premium, participating in the Divisional finals on the first weekend in April may be one that counties want to avoid, except for those involved in the Division 3 decider. The outcome of that game could have a bearing on whether a team is Sam Maguire or Tailteann Cup bound come the summer. More on that later.

Kerry's David Clifford and Pádraig O'Hora of Mayo during last season's Division 1 final

On the Easter weekend that follows, the championship begins, with 18 counties in action. A few of that number may have just fought for silverware. Go back to last year and Mayo looked liked a team who really didn't want to be taking on Kerry in this Division 1 decider; minds were more focused on their championship bow with Galway - and that was three weeks later.

Last September the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) did bring a proposal to the Central Council that league finals should be scrapped. Strong opposition, however, came from the GPA, and from lower-ranked counties who highlighted a rare opportunity of playing a big game at Croke Park.

Such grievances came after the CCCC drew attention to the fact that some teams may only have a one-week break between competitions. In the end the proposal was rejected and so we have more or less non-stop footballing action between now and 30 July, the date of the All-Ireland final.

For now it's about what happens in seven rounds of action played over nine weeks, with the aforementioned finals a week later. Hopefully the weather will be kind. No named-storms have yet crossed our shores in this meteorological winter and the forecast for the weekend is favourable, with a fresh breeze and light rain the worst we can expect on Sunday.

Whatever about the prospect of divisional finals, participation in another league is coming. Yes, the month of May will see the start of the round-robin series in the both the Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cup. In previewing Division 1, my colleague Conor Neville posed the question: "What becomes of the league when the championship is also a league?"

Louth celebrate their Division 3 title win last April

Good question. With another tinkering of the championship format likely later in this decade, more round-robin games can be expected, more play-off games in the last-chance saloon. And that's all before we get to the knockout stage.

Linking the league to the championship (an explainer is coming) will heighten the tension in the coming months. Counties used to dining at the top table can plan accordingly, in the knowledge that an average spring campaign won't derail things too much with regard to being in All-Ireland quarter-final come the start of July. Then there are the mid-ranking teams; those that crave a solid league for fear that they may lose out on Sam Maguire place.

And then there is battle to escape from the bottom tier; sides who know that a good run at the Tailteann Cup will define their summer.

New men at the helm

Of the 32 counties taking part in the football, 14 have new managers, and there are more than a few high-profile names there.


Paddy Carr (Donegal)

Kevin McStay (Mayo)

Vinny Corey (Monaghan)

Davy Burke (Roscommon)

At the age of 65, Colm O'Rourke is making his inter-county management bow


John Cleary (Cork)

Colm O'Rourke (Meath)


Andy McEntee (Antrim)

Conor Laverty (Down)

Paddy Christie (Longford)

Liam Kearns (Offaly)

Dessie Dolan (Westmeath)

Oisín McConville was an appointment right out of left field


John Hegarty (Wexford)

Oisín McConville (Wicklow)

The league's bearing on this year's championship

Of course the final pieces in the make up of the Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cup competitions won't be known until after the provincial finalists are known. However, the conclusion of the Allianz League will also put some shape on the likely destination for counties come the summer.

Tier 1 All-Ireland championship will be contested by 16 teams - the eight provincial finalists and eight counties, who don't make said finals, based on their final league position.

Tier 2 Tailteann Cup will be contested by 16 remaining teams, with New York, if they don't make a Connacht final, entering the competition at the preliminary quarter-final stage.

Westmeath captain Kevin Maguire lifts the Tailteann Cup

What we do know is that Westmeath, last year's Tailteann Cup winners, will be in the Sam Maguire race, even if they remain in Division 3 come the end of the league, as will one of Sligo, Leitrim, London (currently Division 4 sides) and New York (who don't compete in the league), as one of them are already guaranteed a Connacht final berth.

Remember a Division 3 & 4 team is destined for the Tailteann Cup, unless they reach a provincial provincial. But now two teams from the bottom 16, assuming Westmeath don't get promoted, are in the Tier 1 championship. Promotion for the Lake County would bring that number down, so therefore at least one of the top 16 teams in the league will not get a crack at the All-Ireland.

The top 16 will be made up of Division 1 and Division 2 sides come the end of the Allianz League.

Headline acts bring sparkle to Division 2

So who's in danger of missing out on Sam Maguire? The counties most at risk are those promoted from Division 3, and their ranking, either 15 or 16, will be determined by the outcome of the divisional final. That game now has a lot riding on it and the loser will subsequently have to make a provincial showdown if they are to contest Sam Maguire, with the spot that would have been allocated to them now going to the Connacht finalist.

The Division 3 winners will be hoping that Westmeath get promoted, therefore allowing them to progress to the Tier 1 championship.

If other lower-ranked counties make provincial finals then the prospect of more Division 2 teams missing out on Sam Maguire looms large. There is the chance, albeit unlikely, that seven of the eight provincial finalists could come from teams in Divisions 3 and 4 and that would mean no representation from Division 2 in Sam Maguire.

Bookmakers would offer you long odds on that. Still, teams in the second tier will want to finish as high as possible, so as to avoid being dragged into unwanted terrain come May.

Hope that explains the league's link to what happens come the summer!

Opening jousts

Paddy Tally and Jack O'Connor will be masterminding Kerry's league and All-Ireland defence

The pre-season tournaments, allied with a number of challenge games that were played, won't tell us a whole lot about what's going to transpire over the next two months. Derry's impressive win over Tyrone in the McKenna Cup, perhaps the only nugget from which we can take something.

Kerry, according to Jack O'Connor, are "behind the curve" and minus the forward line that won last year's All-Ireland as they head to Donegal. Now without Michael Murphy and Neil McGee, questions as to who will step up for the hosts abound.

Division 1 is dominated by Ulster and Connacht teams, with Kerry the sole representative across the other two provinces. One big beast is missing and that is Dublin.

Mayo v Galway is the game that stands out. The Tribes pulled ahead of the green and red in the pecking order last year. Kevin McStay's arrival will have a focus in re-establishing Mayo as the number one out west again. How they cope without Oisín Mullin and Lee Keegan in defence will be key. Lots of talk that Donnacha McHugh could fill an important role there.

Will Division 1 retain its lustre?

Galway will be without Shane Walsh early on, so expect Damien Comer to lead the scoring charge.

Monaghan and Roscommon, both under new management, are likely relegation candidates.

Tyrone, after their wobbles in 2022, will fancy getting something from the Rossies at the Hyde. Armagh will target a similar return when they make the short trip to Castleblayney.

Dublin v Kildare has a 5pm throw-in at Croker

The Dubs are expected to win Division 2, with Derry likely to be their nearest challengers. Their round-five meeting in Owenbeg will be key.

Dessie Farrell's side begin at home to Kildare at Croke Park, while Rory Gallagher's play host to Limerick.

The Lilywhites were far from disgraced in falling from the top tier last season. They will think they have it in them to bounce straight back.

Meath and Colm O'Rourke will be an interesting watch.

O'Rourke used over 30 players in their three games in pre-season and has indicated that he thinks the league should start a month later than it does. That suggests that it could be an experimental start to their league season, and a trip to Cork is a testing opener.

Louth, under Mickey Harte, made the pre-season headlines with their decision not to play their O'Byrne Cup fixture with Wexford having already qualified from the group. They open up with a game away to Clare, a side preparing for their seventh straight season in the second tier, and all of those under the tutelage of Colm Collins who confirmed back in September that he is back for a 10th season with the side.

Division 3 sees five new managers involved.

Conor Laverty

One of those, Conor Laverty, seems to be making a favourable impression with Down early on. The Mourne County were relegated last year, so an instant return, in this most competitive division, would yield much kudos for the highly regarded Laverty. The Ulster side begin with an away trip to Tipperary, who came up from the bottom tier in 2022.

New managers to cut teeth in Division 3

Andy McEntee was a surprise choice to helm Antrim shortly after leaving his native Meath. He welcomes Offaly's new boss Liam Kearns to Corrigan Park on Sunday afternoon.

Paddy Christie has made an early impact in Longford after their county's O'Byrne Cup success and the midlanders head to Fermanagh for their opener.

Westmeath v Cavan could be the most competitive of the weekend's fixture, with Dessie Dolan stepping up as Lake County boss.

And so to Division 4.

Can Sligo or Leitrim make promotion this year after their solid league efforts in 2022?

The favourites to go up are Sligo and Laois and they meet in Markievicz Park. The Connacht side showed signs of improvement last season, pushing Cavan all the way in the Tailteann Cup semi-final. For Laois boss Billy Sheehan it was a 2022 to forget. Spring relegation was followed by just two more matches. Defeat to Wicklow in Leinster and a first-round exit in the Tailteann Cup at the hands of Westmeath.

In an effort to unearth new talent, Sheehan added 21 players to his panel at the start of the year, none of whom were part of the set-up last year.

Andy Moran's first year in charge of Leitrim was solid. They won more games than they lost. Waterford are the visitors to Carrick on Sunday.

Connacht side lead Division 4 charge

Oisín McConville was a somewhat unexpected appointment by Wicklow.

Relegated from Division 3 with one win, and a similar return in the Tailteann Cup points to "room for improvement" but the appointment of the former All-Ireland winner with Armagh could be the shot in the arm they need. The Garden County head to Carlow in round 1.

London, who enjoyed a decent campaign last year, travel to Wexford. The Slaneysiders are now under the management of John Hegarty.

Follow Mayo v Galway (throw-in 7.30pm) via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport or the RTÉ News app, alternatively watch live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, from 7.15pm. Highlights and reaction to all the weekend's action on Allianz League Sunday on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 9.30pm.

Live commentary and updates also on Saturday Sport and Sunday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1.