The New York GAA football scene got a little clearer for the upcoming year with a dramatic piece of editing by the Association this past week.
The alignments of the senior and junior divisions were changed dramatically, with an intermediate division born from necessity and intuition.
The senior division for the coming year will involve nine teams. Champions Kerry will start out as favorites again. Last year's semifinalist, Leitrim, Down and Cork are also there, as are Senior B champions Cavan, Four Provinces, Donegal, and Sligo, with junior champs Tyrone rounding out the number.
These clubs will be allowed to draft eight players to their ranks from the intermediate and junior divisions, two of which must have come through the Minor Board.
It remains to be seen how the Senior B Championship will be played for this season. A possible scenario is a repeat of last season, top four into the Senior A semis, with next four battling for Senior B, and last team gets relegated.
The intermediate division will also have nine contestants this year. St. Barnabas drops down from senior, and they will join Astoria Gaels, Armagh, Dublin, Offaly, who step up as Junior B champions from 2008. Also there are Kerry, Roscommon, St. Raymond's and Brooklyn/ Long Island.
These clubs will be allowed to draft four players from the junior division. A little easier here for schedule. Possible top two into semis, next four into quarterfinals, winner gets promoted, bottom team gets relegated.
The four drafted players will not have any requirements in regard to the Minor Board.
St. Barnabas are a regarding team and their players will not be eligible for the draft for this season. Derry will not have a team this year, and their players are free agents.
The junior division has nine teams also in its group. They are last year's beaten finalists Donegal, Cavan, Rockland, who took home the John Joe McGovern KO cup, Monaghan, FDNY, St. Barnabas, Rangers and Mayo, who come down from Junior A. The Celtics return with a team after an absence of some years from competitive fair in New York.
Two cups here, with the system projected to be based on the intermediate championship.