A welcome adjustment to the upcoming 2011 Senior Football Championship was announced this week with the losing team in the annual away game in New York allowed a second chance in the competition.
The Connacht Council fought hard to include the losing team in the competition after Galway nearly lost their game against a compelling New York team this year in the first round of the championship.
Although Galway made it through with a 2-13 to 0-12 win if they had lost they would have automatically been out of the competition.
That won’t be the case in the future.
Up to now all losers of the away game would exit the competition after the away game against New York.
Next year however, Roscommon will travel to Gaelic Park in the Bronx in May and play against New York.
If Roscommon lose they will still be given a place in the qualifiers.
If a traveling team do lose in the future then an extra round will be played back home- called the preliminary round.
It normally works as follows: There are 16 teams in the first round of qualifiers. This would increase to 17 if the losers of the New York game are to be included.
London will still be part of the qualifiers.
Next year London will take on Mayo.
However if the New York team lose, which has been the case in the past few years, they will not be included in the qualifiers, because New York have asked not to be.
“It was discussed at some stage,” said Connacht Council secretary John Prenty.
“But then New York themselves said they didn’t want to participate.”
The main issue lies with some of the players in New York’s immigration status.
They would not be able to return to Ireland for any games.