Inter-county football teams are finally back and it's brilliant.

Everybody has found the last few months tough but having the games again gives us something to grab on to; it gives us a kind of hope, a chance to argue with people, to talk to people, and all the teams will have the ambition to build something special for the year ahead.

You don't necessarily have to win the league to get something really positive out of it and I think that's the big thing about the next few weeks. It might be watered down and we might not even see a final depending on who's in it, but I think it will be exciting.


All you need to know: Allianz Football League round 1


It's probably toughest on the Division 3 and 4 teams. They might not feel as confident about the championship because it's a knockout format and will set their achievable goals for the year in the league.

But the GAA has done well, I think. Having any sort of a league or championship organised is good.

Each of the four divisions have been split into two sections - North and South - to cut down on travel. London, will not be participating this year, so Division 4 South consists of just three teams: Waterford, Wicklow and Wexford.

Action in Division 2 and 3 will be enthralling. They've only three matches to ensure they go up or down so we'll be watching those clashes closely.

Dublin? They won't fret about the league. They don't have to. But we'll be looking at Galway, we'll be looking at Kerry, we'll be looking at Tyrone, and Donegal too.

They'll all want to find form and have their settled teams so they can hit the ground running. If they can find some consistency, it'll mean everything for them going into the championship. The league is vital for those teams.

I think the proximity of the league to the championship is brilliant. The form you see in the league will carry into the championship.

Will the challengers step up? We'll see.

This weekend I'm going to Tralee to watch Kerry play Galway. The Tribesmen are starting four new young fellas, while for Kerry the two Cliffords David and Paudie will line out, so that'll be interesting.

Armagh are back in Division 1 for the first time in nine years, Donegal square up to Tyrone, and then in Division 4 North we have Mickey Harte (Louth), Enda McGinley (Antrim) and Tony McEntee (Sligo) all going head to head.

There's a brilliant feast of football ahead and the whole country will be buzzing for it. I can't wait.

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Tomás Ó Sé was speaking to RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland

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