It had to happen, didn’t it? Newly installed Galway manager Henry Shefflin will come up against his own people just three games into his Championship management career. That was undoubtedly the headline story to emrrge from Saturday’s 2022 Mac Carthy Cup draws.
The former green helmet-clad wizard will make his summer bow on the sideline against Wexford – who he tortured so often as a player – over the weekend of April 16th/17th next. There will then be a battle of the maroon and white as the Leinster guests tackle Westmeath before the former Ballyhale boss confronts Cody and Co.
Down south, the first round of the Munster SHC throws up a repeat of this year’s All Ireland Final as Limerick and Cork collide in the opening joust. At the tail end of the early rounds, there’s what’s always a potential firecracker when Cork take on Tipperary.
As an aside, for me, the greatest excitement garnered from digesting the Championship draws – admittedly after the racing in Fairyhouse had concluded – was seeing the belated but nonetheless welcome reinstatement of the Round Robin series for the two provincial championships. Sadly the power brokers in football are still afflicted with dinosaur mentality but if nigh on four decades in and around GAA workings has enlightened a soul about anything, it’s that patience and fortitude can pay off when in pursuit of implimenting change.
Even without considering the above mind you, somebody needs to investigate how next year’s championship pairings were ready before those in the National Leagues. Only in G. A. A.!