Westmeath hurling manager Michael Ryan says he has had a change of heart and believes the changes introduced at Special Congress will have a positive impact on the Tier 2 counties.

On what GAA President Aoghán Ó Fearghail lauded as a "clear and decisive" day of change in hurling at Croke Park, the biggest amendment saw a major restructure of the championship.

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Munster and Leinster will be limited to five teams apiece, with both provinces played off as a round-robin group.

The third place team in each province will play one of the top two teams from the newly created tier two competition - possibly to be called the Joe McDonagh Cup - in a preliminary quarter-final with the two winners going forward to the quarter-finals.

Westmeath, Antrim, Carlow, Kerry, Laois and Meath will compete for a quarter-fnal berth and speaking on the RTÉ GAA podcast, Westmeath manager Ryan says he has revised his original thoughts on the changes and believes it is for the betterment of the game.

"We are reasonably happy with it," he said.

"There was a concern first of all that the motion would go through which meant that only 10 teams would go through for the Liam MacCarthy and the rest would be left behind until next year.

"I think the amendment makes it a much better proposition from the point of view that the top two teams in our division, they get the chance to play the third team in the two provinces.

"It makes it very attractive because at the end of the day, you are trying to sell something to your players to get them going in November, December and January.

"First of all you have five games in the Championship, if you finish in the top two you have a final, the winner of that is going into the Leinster Championship next year and also the first and second teams get a second bite of the cherry."

Ryan concedes that Kerry may have grounds for pessimism.

If the winner of the newly created tier two competition is Antrim or a Leinster county they will be promoted automatically in place of the bottom placed team in the province.

However, if Kerry come top they will have to play-off against the worst team in Munster for a place in the following year’s provincial championship meaning the traditional hurling counties in the province are virtually ring-fenced into the competition.

"From Kerry’s point it’s not too good because if they win the group they have to beat the bottom team in Munster to get promoted," he said.

"That mightn’t be too attractive, but overall it’s a reasonable scenario and it will be for the benefit of the game."