Launch of the Joe McDonagh Cup and the EirGrid GAA Football U20 Championship
On Monday, The GAA today launched the 2018 McDonagh, Ring, Rackard and Meagher Cups at Croke Park in the company of players from counties competing in these competitions. The inaugural McDonagh Cup begins next weekend with the meetings of Meath and Antrim, Carlow and Kerry and Laois and Westmeath. The competition is named after former GAA President and Galway hurler Joe McDonagh. The McDonagh Cup final will be played on the same billing as the Leinster hurling final giving all competing players something tangible to aim for.
The newly structured, EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship was officially launched last week in Croke Park. This revised competition allows young players to develop their skills at a the top level and prepare for their careers at senior level.
The first throw-in of the 2018 Championship is in Ulster on May 26th, with Donegal and Cavan kicking off the competition.
Proceedings in Leinster start shortly after with the first games between Longford and Dublin, Westmeath and Wexford, Kildare and Laois and Wicklow and Louth taking place on May 28th.
The Connacht championship commences on June 2nd, with Roscommon and Sligo coming face to face for the first time this year.
Limerick and Kerry kick start the Munster campaign when they play on June 15th. Speaking on behalf of the GAA, John Horan, Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael said: “2018 is certainly a year of change in the GAA, not least with the alterations to our competition structures.
The merits of this championship are well documented, offering as it does an outlet before the senior ranks for players to mature and develop against players of their own age”.