FORMER Donegal player Damian Diver believes that the back door championship system has removed a lot of excitement from the intercounty competition.
This year, the football championship will be run as a straight knock out to suit a shortened season, instead of the back door system that had been in place since 2001 in various guises.
However, in a recent interview with Gaelic Life, Damian Diver said he thought that the format that allowed losing teams a second chance only helped the better teams.
“I still think the back door gives a chance for stronger teams to come through.
“The days of catching someone out are gone.
“I think it plays into the hands of the strong teams. If they don’t have a good day then they will have another chance to come good.”
Diver said that he is also worried about how the GAA has gone to pay per view models in certain cases.
“I would like to stay it terrestrial so everyone has access to all the games.
“It is getting elite but it is the way it is being driven.”
The game is elite in the sense that players are pushing themselves to the very limit.
There are positives and negatives to that. Diver thinks that the intercounty game is improving the quality, however the downside is that the club game is trying to follow suit.
“Each player is improving himself so naturally the bar is going up. All these teams who have new ideas and every team is trying to compete.
“The whole GAA bar is going up. If you look at club football, it is like the county football when I started. It is maybe even further on than that. It is very serious. The days of having a game of football and meeting for the craic afterwards is gone. Teams don’t go up afterwards to meet.
“There is no banter. Just the camaraderie, and the fun of sitting down for a few sandwiches.
“Mingling and chatting. Everyone wants to get their game and go home straight away.
“You lose boys who aren’t focused on driving themselves to the top because it has got too serious.”