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The 2023 All Ireland Senior Football Championship (Sam Maguire Cup)

  • 03-04-2023 11:33am
    Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭

    The league is over and the championship starts in less than a week.

    Major changes to the structure that I'm not going to explain but right now these are the teams, in not particular order making up the 16 for the group stages.

    • Kerry
    • Dublin
    • Mayo
    • Galway
    • Roscommon
    • Tyrone
    • Armagh
    • Donegal
    • Derry
    • Monaghan
    • Cork
    • Louth
    • Kildare
    • Sligo\Leitrim\London\NY
    • Westmeath (2022 TC winners)
    • Meath*

    *Meath are out if someone below them in league standings, other than Westmeath\Sligo\Leitrim\London\NY, make a provincial final.

    The provincial winners are seeded first in the groups, provincial winners 2nd and then it goes by league placings.

    The group winners advance to the QFs and the 2nd and 3rd place teams play off to determine the other 4 QF teams.

    Right now it's as open a championship as it has been in years.

    Kerry were good last year with new management and a determination to get their first title in 9 years, but even at that they were run close by Dublin and Galway were in good shape for a decent periods of the final.

    Galway themselves were seconds for being knocked out in the QF by Armagh.

    Dublin had Kerry on the rack in the 2nd half of their SF but an monster free nailed it for Kerry.

    This year Kerry have had a lacklustre league, but a lot of that is down to a lack of urgency after a very busy 2022 with club and county. But at the same time they are not playing well, and seem to lack depth in places.

    Dublin won Div 2 but equally didn't exactly shoot the lights out in doing so, but still they are Dublin.

    Mayo have been revitalized by new management and new players, they won the league and are in a much stronger position to challenge than they were in 2022.

    Galway are so so, they benefited from the easy side of the draw in 2022 and seem to rely very much on a few key players. They had a great chance to beat mayo yesterday and could not take it

    Armagh could spring a surprise, they should have beaten Galway in the QF last year and that would have put them in the final if you ask me. They will cause trouble in whatever group they are in and I doubt many would like to meet them in a QF.

    Tyrone are hard to figure, they won an All Ireland with a team that was hardly "generational" and now it looks like they are very much middle of the pack

    Derry just don't have enough to be serious contenders and I will also write off Donegal.

    After all that I think it's really between Kerry, Mayo, Dublin and Armagh.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution

    In case this thread runs for months, can the mods fix the title...? Seeing "McGuire" every time would just annoy me too much.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    I wouldn't give Armagh much of a chance based on what we've seen so far this year.

    I'd have Derry, Tyrone & Galway all in with a decent shout along with Mayo, Dublin & Kerry - has to be the most open championship in years. I think winning your group is going to be crucial as finishing 2nd means you'll play the 3rd placed team the next week and the quarter final the following week and I think that'll catch up with most teams.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    @Hammer Archer, you doing a pools this year?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,890 ✭✭✭Coillte_Bhoy

    Anyone got the dates for the AI series? The fixtures section on is farcical and pathetic

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,651 ✭✭✭billyhead

    Usually the newspapers will have a fixtures pull out before the weekend.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    Taken from gaaboard

    All-Ireland Senior Football Round 1 (Group Stage)

    Counties Participating

    • The following 16 Counties shall be eligible to participate in the All-Ireland Championship Round 1 (Group Stage).

    (a) The 4 Provincial Champions (1st seeds)

    (b) The 4 Provincial Runners-Up (2nd seeds)

    (c) The next 4 highest-ranked teams at the conclusion of the National League (3rd seeds)

    (d) The next 4 highest-ranked teams at the conclusion of the National League (4th seeds)

    Exception to (d): The previous year’s Tailteann Cup Winners if not already qualified as one of the teams in (a) to (d) above, shall be eligible instead of the team in (d) with the lowest National League ranking at the conclusion of that year’s National League.

    • Note: The ranking of teams in the National League referred to above shall be on the basis of the outcomes of the National League, including those of Promotion and Relegation, of the Competition Year. For the avoidance of doubt, a league final winner will be considered a higher seed than the team they defeated in the final.

    Group Composition and order of games

    • The All-Ireland Group Stage shall be on a League basis of four Groups of four teams (Groups A, B, C and D), with each team in a Group playing the other teams in their Group once. Teams will be awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw.

    • The composition of each group shall be decided by means of a draw.

    • Each Group shall consist of one team from each of the seeded classifications in (a) to (d) above. Teams who have already met in that year’s provincial final cannot be drawn to the same group.

    • Each team shall play one Home game, one Away game in Round 1 & 2 and one game at a neutral venue in Round 3.

    • The order of games;

    Round 1: Seed 1 v Seed 3, Seed 2 v Seed 4

    Round 2: Seed 3 v Seed 2, Seed 4 v Seed1

    Round 3, Neutral venues: Seed 1 v Seed 2, Seed 3 v Seed 4

    • Home Venues shall be subject to approval by the Central Competitions Control Committee and shall meet the criteria set down by the National Facilities/Health and Safety Committee.

    Tie-Breakers – Group Stage

    In the event of teams finishing on equal points in the Groups, the tie shall be decided by the following means and in the order specified below;

    (vi) Where two teams only are involved – the outcome of the meeting of the two teams in the group

    (vii) Score difference – subtracting the total Scores against from the total Scores for;

    (viii) Highest Total Score For;

    (ix) Highest Total Goals For;

    (x) A Play-Off.

    In the event that two teams or more finish with equal points, but have been affected by a disqualification, loss of game on a proven objection, retirement or walk over, the tie shall be decided by the following means and in the order specified below:

    (iv) Score Difference from the games in which only the teams involved, (teams tied on points), have played each other. (subtracting the total Scores Against from total Scores For)

    (v) Highest Total Score For, in which only the teams involved, have played each other, and have finished equal in (i)

    (vi) A Play-Off

    Schedule of Games

    Round 1 (Home & Away)

    20-21.05.2023 (Sat/Sun) or 27-28.05.2023 (Sat/Sun)

    Seed 1 v Seed 3

    Seed 2 v Seed 4

    Round 2 (Home & Away

    03-04.06.2023 (Sat/Sun)

    Seed 3 v Seed 2

    Seed 4 v Seed1

    Round 3 (Neutral)

    17-18.06.2023 (Sat/Sun)

    Seed 1 v Seed 2

    Seed 3 v Seed 4

    Preliminary Quarter-Finals

    24-25.06.2023 (Sat/Sun)

    (Four Games)

    The four second-placed teams from Round 1 shall be drawn to play at home against the four third-placed teams, subject in the first instance to the avoidance of repeat Provincial Final pairings and where possible repeat pairings from Round 1.

    Home Venues shall be subject to approval by the Central Competitions Control Committee and shall meet the criteria set down by the National Facilities/Health and Safety Committee.


    01-02.07.2023 (Sat/Sun)

    (Four Games)

    The four first-place teams from Round 1 shall be drawn to play against the four Preliminary Quarter-Finals winners, subject in the first instance to the avoidance of repeat Provincial Final pairings and where possible repeat pairings from Round 1.


    15-16.07.2023 (Sat/Sun)

    (Two Games)

    The four quarter-final winners shall play against each other in the Semi-Final based on a draw, subject to the avoidance of repeat pairings from the championship, where possible.


    30.07.2023 (Sun) | (Replay: 12.08.2023 (Sat))

    (One Game)

    The winners of the All-Ireland Semi-Finals shall meet in the All-Ireland Final.

    Note: All-Ireland Final will have Extra time in the original fixture and will be winner on the day in the event of a replay only.


    Venues for the All-Ireland Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final shall be determined by the Central Competitions Control Committee.

    Winner on the Day

    The All-Ireland Football Preliminary Quarter-Finals, Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals will be winner on the day.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I would have hoped would have a chart, like you'd get from a tabloid at the beginning of a championship. People are finding it hard to remember or visualise progression

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,760 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    The PDF download on the GAA covers everything in 43 pages. There is a chart on Page 3, but maybe not very useful. It had to be drawn up in December 2022.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,654 ✭✭✭elefant

    There's not really any logical reason at all to have Armagh in that group of most likelys.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    I think they are more likely to get to a final than Derry or Galway.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,654 ✭✭✭elefant

    Based on what? They haven't been in an Ulster final in about 15 years and had a terrible league campaign. They look poor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution

    The Galway keeper handed Armagh 2 goals in injury time last year and Armagh still couldn't beat them. They've followed this up with winning 2 league games and getting relegated in the process.

    Yet they're somehow one of the 4 best teams in Ireland?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭legendary.xix

    3 teams getting out of a group sounds easy but anyone finishing third could be away to a Division 1 team in the preliminary quarter-final. In the Super 8s, some groups had 3 teams playing for 1 spot. The GAA were probably weary of dead rubbers in those scenarios.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,998 ✭✭✭Cavan_King

    I wouldn’t say they’re one of the four best teams in Ireland but don’t forget they did beat Donegal & Tyrone in championship last year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution

    I'm not saying they're bad, but it's ludicrous to group them with the 3 most dominant teams of the last few years in football.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    But all I'm doing is saying that if anyone outside of the top three is going to be in with a shout I fancy Armagh over Derry, Galway, Tyrone etc etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 744 ✭✭✭MattressRick

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    They are bang average.

    They rely heavily on three players, and once those three fade Galway fade.

    They have no depth and don't score enough.

    People only talk about them because they got to the final last year.

    But they were in the very easy side of the draw, and they were seconds away from going out to Armagh.

    Last Sunday they couldn't beat a Mayo team that played poorly for 50 minutes and didn't play at all for 20.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,654 ✭✭✭elefant

    Galway came second in the league, relying so much on star players that they did most of it without 4 all stars from 2022 (plus a further nominee and the young player of the year), and could certainly have beaten Mayo in the final despite not having to be championship sharp for another 3 weeks.

    They also beat 3 division one teams, plus Derry, on the way to a close final last year, on that easy side of the draw.

    It kind of feels like your thread of predictions might not have the most objective of foundations when you think something Armagh have been doing puts them ahead of Galway.

    Post edited by elefant on

  • Registered Users Posts: 668 ✭✭✭Rockfish

    Interesting piece in the Indo by Colm Keys asking whether losing to Roscommon would improve Mayo's AI chances. It's an interesting discussion thats going to be had this winter in some counties if provincial success isnt followed by a successful AI series campaign. Either way i think this could be the last summer where the provincials carry such importance. An Armagh selector has already said that ulster isnt their priority.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,388 ✭✭✭MfMan

    They were second only to Derry in scoring concessions in the league, beat Armagh away, scored more from play than Mayo did last Sunday. (Also, highest scorers in the league overall last year). Mayo had arguably a stronger team out last Sunday and were further along in their fitness and struggled to pull away for long stretches.

    For a county playing in their first AI final in 21 years last year and for all of these players, their first ever, they didn't perform too badly last year, even in spite of a lot of sub-par performances on the day. There's a lot of bang-average sides out there by most metrics.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,760 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    Also behind a paywall but this one is appearing to suggest that Kildare as well as Meath are in danger of going into the Tailteann.

    At least Mayo and Roscommon have the luxury of not looking over their shoulder to see whether the likes of Cavan or Fermanagh could get to a provincial final. Getting to a provincial final is a real priority for them, so that should ensure some real competition. If one of them, or a few more in other provinces do get to a final, then Meath and Kildare? could be out of the Sam. And Armagh could be looking over their shoulder next year, if they have a bad League in Division 2. On the other side of the coin, Cavan coming up from Division 3 might well lose out, and lose out again next year if they have a bad League.

    Some people are complaining that Mayo have games on 3 successive weekends, but every team knows the schedule beforehand. It could have been Roscommon as well, plus plenty of other "weaker" counties along with Sligo and Wicklow who are already in the same boat. If Meath lose out, there could be rumblings about how they were shafted by Connacht ensuring that a "weak" county is guaranteed a spot in the provincial final. But again everyone knew the possibilities before the League. It is dangerous for any county to assume that they can treat the province lightly, thinking that they are guaranteed something better later on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,998 ✭✭✭Cavan_King

    Re Armagh, I wouldn’t be fooled by “manager speak” at the moment. Mickey Graham said last week he didn’t think there should be League Finals but then put out his strongest team available in the Div 3 Final when even Cavan supporters expected him to rest a few lads carrying knocks.

    Dara McVeety walked around Breffni Park in a fracture boot at the last game of the League vs Fermanagh but made a miraculous recovery to play 70 minutes against them in the Final a week later!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    That's fine

    I still think they are overrated.

    Just on their scoring though.

    It doesn't matter how many more scores from play they got v Mayo, they missed scores from placed balls that they were expected to score.

    In the league they scored 93 points.

    The only Div 1 team lower than that was Donegal.

    And the only Div 2 teams lower were Kildare an Limerick.

    They only had a points difference of +2.

    Post edited by Fr Tod Umptious on

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    Yea I think it's very much going to be on a case by case basis.

    RMayo, Galway have the safetly net of knowing they will at least be a 3 seed and get at least four more games.Mayo, Roscommon and Galway have a safety net as you say, but Meath don't.

    Any Ulster, Munster or Leinster finalists with the exception of Westmeath that was ranked below Meath in the league knocks Meath into the TC.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,331 ✭✭✭✭ArmaniJeanss

    In theory, only those who finished in the Top 8 in the league (+TC winners Westmeath) are guaranteed a place.

    However the way the Connacht draw fell with Gal, Mayo, Ros on one side means that 9th in the league (Armagh) is now also in for definite.

    Realistically though, Donegal (10th) will get in as they only need one other already qualified team to get to the provincial final (e.g., Dublin or Kerry).

    11th, 12th in the league will also make it barring a summer of provincial madness, but aren't confirmed yet.

    It's Cork, Kildare, Meath who are in the 'hot seats' whereby they need favours if they don't get it done themselves. With Meath's seat the hottest.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    I see Meath are the same side of the Leinster draw as Louth and Westmeath.

    So you could have this situation

    Lets assume Meath get past Longford or Offaly in the QF

    Then they play Louth or Westmeath in the SF.

    If they win then it's all good, they are into the final and thus into the Sam Maguire.

    If they lose then they are also safe because Westmeath are already in the Sam Maguire via last years TC and Louth are in a better league position so there is a league sport freed up for Meath to take.

    That is as long as Dublin or Kildare get to the final the other side and that two teams lower than Meath don't make the Ulster or Munster finals.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,021 ✭✭✭cosatron

    beating mayo in castlebar isn't an easy side of the draw and you know well, roscommon are hard beat in connacht finals, but sure that doesn't suit your agenda so carry on.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,831 ✭✭✭BENDYBINN