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New Football Championship Structure for 2018

  • 18-09-2017 12:05pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    So from 2018 for at least two seasons we will have a new Championship structure

    The big change will be the quarter finals will be played in two groups of 4, the other change will be the final will be played in August (but 2018 is provisionally booked for the first Sunday in September because the Pope is supposed to visit, don’t quote me on that)

    Anyway the championship will be far more compact in the next two years that it has been to date.

    Based on the sample schedule the GAA published in this document

    Munster final will be early June (usually early July) with the other proceeding in the weeks following, again a full month ahead of what we have had to date.
    That means that the Quarter Finals will start around the second weekend in July and finish around the end of July and the semi-finals will be played the same weekend starting after the QFs finish.

    I don’t know how they will group the provincial winners in the Quarter Finals. The old rotation they have used for years for Semi Finals goes out the window because the semi-finals are now Winner Group 1 v Runner Up Group 2/Winner Group 2 v Runner Up Group 1.

    In that structure even if all four provincial champions where to finish in the top two there is no guarantee you would have Leinster v Connacht/Ulster v Munster semi-finals as would be the 2018 rotation based on the old system.

    What could be interesting is if Mayo and Dublin are in the same group (Dublin as Leinster champions, Mayo as something else)

    One could afford to lose to the other in the knowledge that the next time they could meet is in a final.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,547 ✭✭✭✭ jmayo


    Doesn't matter because the bigger issue is the gap between the those at the top and the rest.

    No mater what the format I actually can't see past Dublin winning next year and actually being the first team to do a 5 in a row.
    As it is at the moment Dublin don't really get a test until semi or in this year the final.
    The more chance of them meeting one of the other top teams in an earlier round, the more they will be harden and iron some of the chinks.
    And the more chance of more trashings.

    Kerry are going to lose another couple of veterans this year and that team is on the slide already having lost the guys they did over the last couple of years.
    Now they have some great minors, but it will take a few years for them to gel into a serious outfit at senior.

    Mayo haven't really blooded enough young players and the old warhorses are getting older with no like for like class replacements anyway.

    Dublin just keeps adding class players year after year.

    Ultimately the biggest decision that is coming down the road is how to somehow make the championship more competitive and worthwhile for all but the top 2/4.

    Most counties are no longer at the races, through lack of resources both in player and financial terms, and compounded with pi** poor administration and structures.
    Dublin have overwhelming resources and that added to their underage structures make it look like their dominance is assured for the rest of the decade and well into the next.

    A county with a population of over 1.3 million and growing, even if you factor in only 1/3 i.e. 433,333 are into Dublin GAA is still way in excess of any other county and when that is added to the financial backing ultimately will make the whole competition skewed in favour of one entity.

    Leinster championship is now a non event.
    How soon before that becomes a national issue ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭ Duffy the Vampire Slayer


    I think this structure will benefit Dublin more than anyone else.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,930 jr86


    jmayo wrote: »

    Leinster championship is now a non event.
    How soon before that becomes a national issue ?

    it could have been the case this year had mayo lost any of the 4 games they drew

    Lets be honest if connolly hadnt missed that guilt edge chance v Donegal in 14 we were probably looking at the 5 in a row yest. I can't see this dublin team being turned over in a smash and grab like that again, so unless mayo improve again (do they have enough top quality coming through) or Kerry suddenly turn into a top class team again, I honestly can't look past a 5 in a row (and to be honest probably more)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,930 jr86


    I think this structure will benefit Dublin more than anyone else.

    They can actually even afford to lose a couple of matches now and still win an AI


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,609 ✭✭✭✭ PTH2009


    Is going to odd that some teams will be finished there seasons by the end of May and the finals being on early

    Summer's are going to drag a bit with GAA championships on so early but I guess we just have to get used to it. The soccer world cup is on next summer and the championships will be in latter stages when it's starting

    The GAA have really said FU too Tradition


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,133 ✭✭✭ Shurimgreat


    I think the provincial championships have had their day. They are increasingly becoming a joke.

    Tyrone cruised through Ulster and yet were demolished by Dublin. Tells you the standard in Ulster at the moment.
    Leinster Championship is a joke and looks like it will be that way for the foreseeable future. Dublin simply have far too big a population and financial, coaching and player resources at all levels for the other counties to compete.

    Roscommon won Connacht handily and yet proved to be an average enough team when pushed to it.

    Kerry won Munster, yerra same story every year.

    We need a kind of conference setup.

    Two groups of the 5 top teams. Top two from each group go into AI semi finals. Better to have ten best counties facing each other than the likes of Mayo v Leitrim or Dublin v Carlow. The old championship format has long had its day.

    Overall this years championship was a damp squib, as was last years and many more before it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    People need to get a grip with the Dublin "5 in a row" hyperbole.

    They have won three All Ireland's v Mayo by 1 point each, the bounce of a ball, sure it bounced Dublin's way but they have been in no way dominant when it has come to the decider

    Same with 2015 v Kerry to a lesser extent, Kerry missed a chance in the 2nd half to blow the game wide open.
    And of course their first win of the decade in 2011 was again by a point.

    Sure they are a great team with great players, depth, youth, experience etc but they have really been put to the test in finals.

    The argument can be made that an quarter final group game v Mayo , or possibly v an improving Kerry would help Dublin, but they could also get a quarter final group that contains the Ulster champion, and look how easy they dispensed with two Ulster contenders this year.

    The quarter final group stages obviously adds more higher profile games and more revenue with it, but it also goes towards addressing the scenario from last season where Kerry went Clare - Tipp- Clare to get to a semi final.

    The consensus over the last few season or more has been that the championship only starts and the QF stage, this change attempts to add something to that quarter final stage, rather than taking something away from it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,442 ✭✭✭✭ ArmaniJeanss


    A major positive to the new system is that the actual best two teams can meet in the final (and arguably should meet in the final).
    Previously there was a certain chance (around 33%-40% under the various systems) that they would be on the same side of the draw and meet in the semi-finals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    I think the provincial championships have had their day. They are increasingly becoming a joke.

    Tyrone cruised through Ulster and yet were demolished by Dublin. Tells you the standard in Ulster at the moment.
    Leinster Championship is a joke and looks like it will be that way for the foreseeable future. Dublin simply have far too big a population and financial, coaching and player resources at all levels for the other counties to compete.

    Roscommon won Connacht handily and yet proved to be an average enough team when pushed to it.

    Kerry won Munster, yerra same story every year.

    We need a kind of conference setup.

    Two groups of the 5 top teams. Top two from each group go into AI semi finals. Better to have ten best counties facing each other than the likes of Mayo v Leitrim or Dublin v Carlow. The old championship format has long had its day.

    Overall this years championship was a damp squib, as was last years and many more before it.

    I think there is a general feeling that the whole championship needs changing but right now the quarter final groups is the only change that we will defiantly see in the upcoming two seasons.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,133 ✭✭✭ Shurimgreat


    @Fr Tod.

    My point is the provincial championships are essentially the biggest waste of time, particularly in the era of the back door. Winning or losing them has no bearing on winning the AI. They are a nod to tradition but an increasingly obsolete nod.
    Some of the games contribute nothing except to prolong the championship by at least two months while the provincials are worked out.
    This has nothing to do with current Dublin dominance. Its to do with the gap between bigger counties and smaller ones and also that 90% of games are of no relevance to who will win the championship.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    @Fr Tod.

    My point is the provincial championships are essentially the biggest waste of time, particularly in the era of the back door. Winning or losing them has no bearing on winning the AI. They are a nod to tradition but an increasingly obsolete nod.
    Dublin v Carlow and Mayo v Leitrim contributes nothing except to prolong the championship by at least two months while the provincials are worked out.
    This has nothing to do with current Dublin dominance. Its to do with the gap between bigger counties and smaller ones and also that 90% of games are of no relevance to who will win the championship.

    Yes I agree, but why not take it to another thread.

    Actually there should be a sticky for "My championship proposal", we get so many around here over the course of the year.

    This thread should really be about the reality that is the quarter final groups in 2018.

    The master fixture list will be out soon enough and I'm sure we will hear more about the provincial makeup of the groups then or before hand


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,133 ✭✭✭ Shurimgreat


    Yes I agree, but why not take it to another thread.

    Actually there should be a sticky for "My championship proposal", we get so many around here over the course of the year.

    This thread should really be about the reality that is the quarter final groups in 2018.

    The master fixture list will be out soon enough and I'm sure we will hear more about the provincial makeup of the groups then or before hand

    Fair enough. I think I made my point. The Super 8s will be an interesting experiment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    A major positive to the new system is that the actual best two teams can meet in the final (and arguably should meet in the final).
    Previously there was a certain chance (around 33%-40% under the various systems) that they would be on the same side of the draw and meet in the semi-finals.


    That is a good point

    If the two best teams are in separate groups they would be expected to top those groups and avoid each other until the final.

    If they are in the same group then they play in a quarter final and go separate ways in the SF


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,269 ✭✭✭ TheCitizen


    Super 8's just mean more games for the stronger counties. There needs to be round robin groups from the beginning and this obviously includes scrapping provincial titles. Essentially get rid of the league as a separate competition. Instead the league or league groups is played out and top sides go into a super 8 type format while others go into a different knockout competition (A Europa League type competition). Weaker and middle counties are being neglected in these proposed changes for next year as far as I can see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,697 ✭✭✭✭ Ace2007


    I think that the National League needs to be taken more serious, I wrote in a different thread that winners breed winners, If the likes of Mayo, Kerry, Donegal, Monaghan, Tyrone etc. hit the ground running in the league, they will get the best out of each other. How can that Mayo team lose by 12 points in March, but push Dublin all the way over the last 2 years for instance?

    The same is to be said for the weaker counties - be competitive in the Division you are in.

    I like the idea of the super 8, but what would folk's opinion be for the league/Championship to be integrated, have the league structure in such a way that you only get into the super 8 by your league placing, so that teams won't rest players for games - imagine only 3 of Dublin, Mayo, Kerry, Tyrone, Monaghan getting into the super 8. top 3 in Division 2 get in and the winners of Div 3 and Div 4 get in.

    Then split up the remaining teams based on league finishes into 3 other super 8 competitions.

    The finals for the 4 games played over a weekend with 2 matches each day.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,133 ✭✭✭ Shurimgreat


    There is no way Mayo can take the league seriously.
    Mayo have been using the same smallish pool of players since about 2010. There is a core group of about 15 or 16 players who have been there all along. To expect that core group to challenge for both the league and championship is a bit much and would leave them drained for the championship.

    There continues to be significant turnover in the Dublin team. They can interchange forwards at will with no loss of quality. They have a huge pool to choose from and will introduce more players next year. Mayo unfortunately don't have this luxury nor the virtually unlimited resources to produce the next generation of players.

    Anyone who thinks Dublin and the rest of the country are competing on a level playing field is having a laugh. Even Dublin supporters know its not a level playing field. The way some Dublin supporters portray it sometimes, you would think Dublin had the population and resources of Leitrim!


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,765 ✭✭✭✭ Beechwoodspark


    There is no way Mayo can take the league seriously.
    Mayo have been using the same smallish pool of players since about 2010. There is a core group of about 15 or 16 players who have been there all along. To expect that core group to challenge for both the league and championship is a bit much and would leave them drained for the championship.

    There continues to be significant turnover in the Dublin team. They can interchange forwards at will with no loss of quality. They have a huge pool to choose from and will introduce more players next year. Mayo unfortunately don't have this luxury nor the virtually unlimited resources to produce the next generation of players.

    Anyone who thinks Dublin and the rest of the country are competing on a level playing field is having a laugh. Even Dublin supporters know its not a level playing field. The way some Dublin supporters portray it sometimes, you would think Dublin had the population and resources of Leitrim!

    In fairness to them most Dublin people acknowledge they have an unfair advantage these days on a number of fronts.

    The playing population at their disposal alone makes the idea of a level playing field a farce.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,697 ✭✭✭✭ Ace2007


    In fairness to them most Dublin people acknowledge they have an unfair advantage these days on a number of fronts.

    The playing population at their disposal alone makes the idea of a level playing field a farce.

    Here we go again - talking about population - what about Cork, they have 4 times as many people as Mayo and they are gone to $hit, Mayo has probably got the same population as Louth.

    Cork have more or less the same number of clubs as Dublin.

    Why can't people just give Dublin credit for what they have achieved like they give Kilkenny credit?

    Why are Kilkenny, Tipp, Galway, Waterford, Wexford all miles ahead of Dublin in Hurling? By your reasoning Dublin should be winning the Liam McCarthy each year as well?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,765 ✭✭✭✭ Beechwoodspark


    Ace2007 wrote: »
    Here we go again - talking about population - what about Cork, they have 4 times as many people as Mayo and they are gone to $hit, Mayo has probably got the same population as Louth.

    Cork have more or less the same number of clubs as Dublin.

    Why can't people just give Dublin credit for what they have achieved like they give Kilkenny credit?

    Why are Kilkenny, Tipp, Galway, Waterford, Wexford all miles ahead of Dublin in Hurling? By your reasoning Dublin should be winning the Liam McCarthy each year as well?

    I already said in a different post that Dublin should be winning every year as they have such an unfair advantage-my genuine belief.

    Won't go through the list of advantages again that Dublin have over every other county, see my previous posts and please feel free to dispute them if you feel I am being unfair.

    As for hurling Dublin should be doing an awful lot better than they are, given that they have such advantages over the rest of the country.

    Please Don't accuse me of trolling. I'm not. Have a little bit of respect for the argument we are making.Was colm o rourke trolling last night on Sunday game calling for Dublin to be split into a number of teams? Brolly has called for drastic changes.

    This is the sorry state of affairs gaa competition has found itself in and it will only get worse if left unchecked.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,697 ✭✭✭✭ Ace2007


    I already said in a different post that Dublin should be winning every year as they have such an unfair advantage-my genuine belief.

    Won't go through the list of advantages again that Dublin have over every other county, see my previous posts and please feel free to dispute them if you feel I am being unfair.

    As for hurling Dublin should be doing an awful lot better than they are, given that they have such advantages over the rest of the country.

    Please Don't accuse me of trolling. I'm not. Have a little bit of respect for the argument we are making.Was colm o rourke trolling last night on Sunday game calling for Dublin to be split into a number of teams? Brolly has called for drastic changes.

    This is the sorry state of affairs gaa competition has found itself in and it will only get worse if left unchecked.

    Well considering you ignored me on 2 different threads where I did dispute you, you come across as a possible troll.

    Was Colm O'Rourke making these statements when Meath played in 5 All Ireland's in the 90's? or just now because it's Dublin? Like I said when other counties have success nothing is said - like Kilkenny. But when it's Dublin it's a story.

    Dublin had the population between 95 and 2011.

    Anyway, this is not the thread for the conversation - so please reply to either of my 2 posts in the other threads if you really want to discuss it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    Ace2007 wrote: »
    I think that the National League needs to be taken more serious, I wrote in a different thread that winners breed winners, If the likes of Mayo, Kerry, Donegal, Monaghan, Tyrone etc. hit the ground running in the league, they will get the best out of each other. How can that Mayo team lose by 12 points in March, but push Dublin all the way over the last 2 years for instance?

    The same is to be said for the weaker counties - be competitive in the Division you are in.

    I like the idea of the super 8, but what would folk's opinion be for the league/Championship to be integrated, have the league structure in such a way that you only get into the super 8 by your league placing, so that teams won't rest players for games - imagine only 3 of Dublin, Mayo, Kerry, Tyrone, Monaghan getting into the super 8. top 3 in Division 2 get in and the winners of Div 3 and Div 4 get in.

    Then split up the remaining teams based on league finishes into 3 other super 8 competitions.

    The finals for the 4 games played over a weekend with 2 matches each day.

    The league means different things to different teams on different years.

    That's the beauty of it. Fans can look at their team and see what progress they are making.

    In 2018 I'd hazard a guess that Galway and Kildare would want to consolidate Div 1 status, Kerry would want to bring in new players, Donegal would want to bring on the young guys they had last year, Mayo would like to integrate a few news guys etc etc.

    Dublin would like to get to the final and win, but it will not be at the expenses of a four in a row push.


  • Registered Users Posts: 294 ✭✭ TrueGael


    So Dublin will have 2 home games , so once again the golden child is being favoured by the GAA, colour me shocked:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

    This 'Super 8' gimmick is a money racket to make up for the lost revenue in attendances which was caused by creating a Monster which has driven away crowds due to the crushing inevitability of the team with all the handy advantages sweeping all aside

    The only problem is the novelty will wear thin very quickly when said Monster continues to kill the sport


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    TrueGael wrote: »
    So Dublin will have 2 home games , so once again the golden child is being favoured by the GAA, colour me shocked:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

    This 'Super 8' gimmick is a money racket to make up for the lost revenue in attendances which was caused by creating a Monster which has driven away crowds due to the crushing inevitability of the team with all the handy advantages sweeping all aside

    The only problem is the novelty will wear thin very quickly when said Monster continues to kill the sport

    Mayo played the same amount of championship games in Croke Park as Dublin this year.

    For teams like Mayo in this era, and Kerry for decades, it may as well be a second home ground.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,128 ✭✭✭ Justin10


    Structures mean feck all when teams can't get their act together, biggest culprits are Meath Kildare and Cork.

    Absolutely no excuses why these teams shouldn't be competing.

    Provincial championship needs to be scrapped, only competition that I'm aware of that teams play different amount of games to reach the same goal.

    Simplest solution to me is 8 groups of four seeded on 4 league divisions. Top two into last 16, bottom 2 into another competition with NY and Kilkenny if they're even arsed.

    That way the small teams can have a big day out against Dublin etc and lose but still have a chance of getting top two. If they don't sure at least they're is something to play for and their year isn't over before the summer even begins.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭ mystic86


    Mayo played the same amount of championship games in Croke Park as Dublin this year.

    For teams like Mayo in this era, and Kerry for decades, it may as well be a second home ground.

    If I take the train from Dublin to Kerry by the time I get to Kerry I am shagged, even though I haven't been doing anything! Travelling is tiring.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,128 ✭✭✭ Justin10


    mystic86 wrote: »
    If I take the train from Dublin to Kerry by the time I get to Kerry I am shagged, even though I haven't been doing anything! Travelling is tiring.

    I'd get yourself to a doctor.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,430 ✭✭✭ Charles Babbage


    @Fr Tod.

    My point is the provincial championships are essentially the biggest waste of time, particularly in the era of the back door. Winning or losing them has no bearing on winning the AI. They are a nod to tradition but an increasingly obsolete nod.

    They might be an obselete nod, but if the general consensus is that only Dublin can win the AI what is there for the rest of the counties? Tyrone will not will Ulster every year in the next decade, or probably not even half of them so other counties have something to aim for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    The provincial championships may lose value if a team tried the following.

    Assume you are Kerry or Mayo
    Both are pretty evenly matched, Dublin are the team to beat and there is a drop off to Tyrone and the rest.

    The groups for 2018 will be as follows.
    Group A
    Leinster champion
    Ulster champion
    Munster runner up or qualifier
    Connacht runner up or qualifier

    Group B
    Munster champion
    Connacht champion
    Leinster runner up or qualifier
    Ulster runner up or qualifier.

    So would Mayo or Kerry tank their provincial final for the following reasons ?

    You know your better than any 4th round opposition.
    Win the qualifier and you are in the group with Dublin
    You get a chance to play (and beat) Dublin, and learn something from it.
    You know you are better than the Ulster champion.
    So if you get out of that group you avoid Dublin until the final and you have already played them and learnt something.

    If you (Mayo/Kerry) win your provincial championship then you go into a group with a team that is your equal (Mayo/Kerry) and you risk meeting Dublin in the SF if you don't win your group.

    It's risky but it gives you the chance to play Dublin in a game that should not be "winner takes all" and you then avoid them in the next round.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,759 ✭✭✭ blowitupref


    The provincial championships may lose value if a team tried the following.

    Assume you are Kerry or Mayo
    Both are pretty evenly matched, Dublin are the team to beat and there is a drop off to Tyrone and the rest.

    The groups for 2018 will be as follows.
    Group A
    Leinster champion
    Ulster champion
    Munster runner up or qualifier
    Connacht runner up or qualifier

    Group B
    Munster champion
    Connacht champion
    Leinster runner up or qualifier
    Ulster runner up or qualifier.

    So would Mayo or Kerry tank their provincial final for the following reasons ?

    You know your better than any 4th round opposition.
    Win the qualifier and you are in the group with Dublin
    You get a chance to play (and beat) Dublin, and learn something from it.
    You know you are better than the Ulster champion.
    So if you get out of that group you avoid Dublin until the final and you have already played them and learnt something.

    If you (Mayo/Kerry) win your provincial championship then you go into a group with a team that is your equal (Mayo/Kerry) and you risk meeting Dublin in the SF if you don't win your group.

    It's risky but it gives you the chance to play Dublin in a game that should not be "winner takes all" and you then avoid them in the next round.

    Are those the super 8 groups for certain next year?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,307 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    Are those the super 8 groups for certain next year?

    Yes that's what I believe.

    They will probably end up rotating them every year like they did the semi finals, but what they should really do is just draw them after the 8 teams are known, 2 champs and 2 qualifiers into each group.

    That would prevent the scenario I described earlier.

    EDIT
    RTE have a piece on this actually and are giving the groups as

    Leinster champion
    Ulster champion
    Munster runner up or qualifier
    Connacht runner up or qualifier


    Munster champion
    Connacht champion
    Leinster runner up or qualifier
    Ulster runner up or qualifier.

    https://www.rte.ie/sport/gaa/2017/0920/906300-dublin-mayo-2018/
    RTE wrote:
    Super 8 could mean another Dublin-Mayo final in 2018

    By Peter Sweeney
    RTÉ Sport journalist
    Dublin and Mayo will be kept apart until next year’s All-Ireland semi-finals - if they manage to win their respective provinces.

    Should they both top their respective Super 8 group they will be kept apart until the final, should they get that far, which opens up the possibility of a third straight All-Ireland decider between the same two teams - something that has only happened once before in football history.

    For most of the GAA’s history, the Senior Football Championship was run on a rota with provincial champions playing in the semi-finals and the pairing changing on a three-year cycle.

    That changed slightly with the introduction of the All-Ireland quarter-finals, but the system was still in use and under it next year Dublin and Mayo would have played in the semi-finals had they won their provincial titles, Leinster and Connacht respectively.

    But the introduction of the Super 8, replacing the quarter-final on a three-year experimental basis from next season, has changed the cycle. The Super 8 will see two groups of four teams playing off on a round robin basis, with the top two in each making the last four.

    Under the traditional system the 2018 semi-finals would have been Leinster versus Connacht and Ulster against Munster.

    Next year Group 1 in the Super Eights will be made up of the Munster and Connacht champions, plus the beaten Ulster and Leinster finalists or the teams that beats them in round four of the qualifiers.

    Group 2 will feature Leinster and Ulster champions plus Munster and Connacht runners-up or the qualifier teams that beats them in round four..

    The winner in one group will play the second placed team in the other in the All-Ireland semi-finals.



    The Dubs and Mayo have met five times in recent Championship seasons, a drawn and replayed All-Ireland semi-final in 2015, a drawn and replayed final last year and this year’s epic All-Ireland final, which the Boys in Blue won by a point.

    So the possibility remains alive of a third All-Ireland final between the same two teams - something that hasn’t happened since Kerry and Wexford in 1913, ’14 and ’15. Kerry won the first two and Wexford won the third part of the trilogy on their way to a first four in-a-row in football history.

    Dublin will be going for a four in-a-row of Sam Maguire wins in 2018 following their back-to-back victories over Mayo and their 2015 defeat of the Kingdom.

    The Dubs are already unbackable favourites to win next year’s Leinster title, having taking the Delaney Cup every year back to 2005 with the exception of 2010. Mayo are the best team in Connacht, though they have lost to Galway at the semi-final stage the past two summers.

    As part of the set of changes that saw the Super 8's introduced, next year’s All-Ireland final will take place in August, with 26 August the provisional date, though this could be pushed back into September if Croke Park is required to host Pope Francis on his proposed visit to Ireland.


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