It’s very much a case of mixed emotions for John Divilly as he sums his role as coach of the UCD Sigerson side.

Speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast, he said: "Sigerson can be very frustrating, a very lonely coaching role to take on. Yet, it can be very exciting as you get to see some of the best young talent emerging in the country. If you can help and guide them along the way to leave college as a better player, well to me that's the biggest satisfaction.

On 17 February, Divilly guided UCD to a second Sigerson success in three years after a one-point win over NUIG. Yet, the former Galway star feels the GAA top brass must show a greater appreciation for third-level competitions as they strive to be relevant in what is now a congested calendar.  

"From our side, we want the competition to survive, but the GAA need to invest in it," Divilly added.

"I made the point after the Sigerson final that there is a great opportunity for the new president coming in to grab the bull by the horns. He needs to get the Sigerson managers, the Trench Cup managers, the Ryan Cup managers with the captains into a room and say to them that that the competition is really good.

"A guy will gain so much mixing with the best guys around the country in playing third-level"

"Will the GAA make it easier for the players to play in a competition without fear of retribution from a county manager or a club manager or an U21 manager.

"That's what's happening at the moment in some cases, though the majority of managers can see the benefit of the Fitzgibbon or Sigerson.

"Some counties I know need all their players all of the time and I can understand that. That said, I hope county managers think of the big picture – a guy will gain so much mixing with the best guys around the country in playing third-level.

"He's going to spread them ideas to his club, into his county and he's going to come back a happier, confident you man ready to give the next seven or eight months to his club and county.

"What is concerning is where you have lads that are caught between two stools. There is a fear for some that if they don’t make a county training session, then that will be held against them."

The various college competitions are run off over a period of four to five weeks, with the two-time All-Ireland winner not in favour of changing its place in the calendar.

He continued: "A lot of competitions in the club run into September. October and November, then you have exams for a lot of colleges in December and some college exams start in January. It's only fair to start a competition when everybody is finished their exams. The window really is late January, early February which it is now. The crux of it is can the GAA make it easier on the players who want to play Sigerson?

"At the moment, We're standing outside the wire. We're waiting for somebody to bring us all in and have an honest chat about this. Nothing will be solved outside the wire. You want guys to be fresh coming up the competitions - not just fresh in their bodies but also in their minds."