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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Paddy Tierney

Mickey Harte says GAA have 'missed the boat' in promoting Tailteann Cup sufficiently

The draw for the first round of the Tailteann Cup is only a week away and the majority of the participants are now known.

However, there remains a degree of scepticism surrounding the viability and promotion of the new second tier competition.

Traditionally, teams who have been eliminated from the provincial series entered the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

However, this season, teams who fail to reach their respective provincial finals and who will be in Division Three and Division Four next year will go into the Tailteann Cup instead.

Teams from the top two divisions go into the Qualifiers and remain in the race for the Sam Maguire.

Following their 2-16 to 0-16 loss to Donegal on Sunday, Cavan are one of biggest teams to enter the Tailteann Cup and will be many people’s favourites for the competition.

After the game, Cavan boss Mickey Graham insisted his players will give the competition their all and, speaking on BBC NI's Championship coverage, Oisin McConville feels the Breffnimen will take all the beating.

“They’ll be disappointed with the situation they’ve left themselves in,” said McConville.

“Tactically, they got everything right. They probably didn’t have the quality to see it right out at the end.

"If they can have the same motivation going into the Tailteann Cup for the games they play, then they’ll win the Tailteann Cup.”

Thomas Galligan is consoled by Ryan McHugh after the game (©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

He added: “It is the first year of the Tailteann Cup and nobody really knows how it is going to be marketed, how popular it is going to be, how players are going to react, how serious counties are going to take it?

“I think if it is done right, players will buy into it. I think that Cavan squad have all the hallmarks of a side who would buy into it.”

Peter Canavan felt that Cavan “only have themselves to blame” following successive relegations to Division Three and Division Four before clinching promotion this year.

The Tyrone legend stressed that the GAA needs to market the Tailteann Cup properly in order for the competition to succeed.

“That’s the big point - the marketing of the Tailteann Cup,” said Canavan.

“I think that’s where the likes of Croke Park can do managers like Mickey Graham a massive favour by really promoting the competition. Having a separate All-Stars and putting the games on prior to the Sam Maguire competition. . . he’ll have no problem keeping his squad together.

“It has to be marketed properly to get the best. We want to see these players - we want to see more of the quality of James Smith and Patrick Lynch and these boys playing.”

However, former Tyrone boss and current Louth manager Mickey Harte feels the competition is already suffering due to poor marketing with the GAA scheduling the final before an All-Ireland semi-final and not the final itself as had been originally stated.

“It is nearly too late to market it well,” said Harte.

“It should have been marketed before now. It should have been attractive for the teams who are going to find themselves in there.

“I don’t think it has been made an attractive event for them. I think we’ve really missed the boat this time.”

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