Westmeath footballer Kieran Martin believes the Super 8s, which will replace the All-Ireland quarter-finals, will help counties that have a strong panel to choose from.
Martin was speaking on the first Super8s podcast of the season. He said: “The Supers 8s is only going to help the teams that have the strong panel. That’s only going to benefit the bigger teams even more. Where you get into the Supers 8s and you could have 2 or 3 of your best players gone, what do you do then. You still have to play a heap of games. That’s the only problem with it.”
The Maryland player also feels teams that have a run in the Qualifiers also have an advantage over counties that will come through their own provinces: “I think teams that get into the backdoor earlier have a bit of a run on you and it also depends on injuries. I know a couple of years ago, the first Leinster Final we got to we played Fermanagh, that was the year they got up to the quarter-final; it was either us or them. John Heslin got injured, we had 2 or 3 more that got injured.”
After gaining promotion back to Division 3, Westmeath consolidated their place in the division this year and were in the hunt for promotion at one stage. They got to the Leinster Finals in 2015 and 2016 and Martin is hoping they can make it into the Super 8s. “Look, it’d be nice to get there. I suppose that’s our goal as well. Our next step after the Leinster Championship to get there and it all depends on the draw as well. If you have the likes of Mayo that have come through of Galway, they’d be hard beaten”