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JOE: MAKE SEASON A BIT LONGER.

Byline: MICHAEL SCULLY

JOE CANNING claims the intercounty hurling season should be extended rather than condensed in the way it has been over the last two summers.

The All-Ireland final has traditionally been played on the first weekend on September but this year it goes ahead on August 18 in a bid to help out the club game.

But Galway great Canning believes the showcase occasion should take place at the end of September.

"I'd play the club championships early on in the year, from maybe February to May, and then have the inter-county championship until the end of September," said Canning.

"That's the way I'd do it anyway, because I do find it strange intercounty managers picking panels on the year previous and not on what they've just seen in the year.

"The Championship is probably too short because you've one game in August.

"Even from a marketing perspective, if you want kids to play sport, have it as much of the year as you can."

In terms of the future of the Championship, Canning favours six teams from Leinster being involved in a Champions League format.

"Yeah, I'd probably play two groups of six or something like that, and have five games and you can play it out, a Champions League or whatever way you want to do it," he said.

"Every team is guaranteed five games, and then your top two of each group plays semi-finals or whatever way you want to work it out, and then the final.

"You could break that out over 13-14 weeks."

Joe Canning was speaking at the Bord Gais All-Ireland under-20 hurling final launch in Dublin yesterday.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Aug 1, 2019
Words:276
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