MICHAEL Murphy believes that the Donegal Club Championship should retain its grouped format this year.
GAA clubs will be able to reopen for non-contact training from June 29. Club games can recommence on July 31.
The inter-county season will not be underway until October 17 with county teams probated from training until September 14.
Donegal captain Murphy sees this as a perfect opportunity for the retention of the current format of the Donegal championship. In the senior championship, the first round sees four groups of four play in a round robin with the top two teams moving into the quarter-fins;s.
“It seems like we’re going down the road of club championship first, which is great,” Murphy said.
“In Donegal, it can dovetail really well. There is a real good opportunity to keep our current structure and for us, as county players, to play and train the whole way through with our clubs.
“With that done, we’ll have time to prepare for three or four weeks for potentially a knock-out inter-county championship in October.”
The format of the inter-county season has yet to be determined.
However, there are strong leanings towards a straight knock-out format from mid-October. It is an idea that holds appeal for Murphy.
The Glenswilly man said: “If we’re starting a Championship in October, knock-out has to be looked at in order to finish in the calendar year.
“People can say the merits of that isn’t fair but it’s the compromises we’re going to need to make in order to get sufficient enough time off the back of the club championship, to prepare for the inter-county championship.
“I would be all for it. We need to get it back at both club level and county level. There will need to be compromises on both sides.”
Murphy was speaking on a group Zoom call with journalists this morning as part of the relaunch of AIB’s The Toughest Trade series, with the final two episodes to be shown by Virgin Media this summer.
Murphy is eager to get back to action – but hopes common ground is found across club and county.
He said: “I’m mad to get playing both club and county football.
“I can’t wait. I hope the structures in both are compromised enough to not be too expansive. If we make it really expansive then inevitably there’ll be a crossover and you’ll not be able to give yourself solely to each.”