National Forum

Should We Continue To Keep The ACL And Championships Separate When It Comes To Promotion/Relegation?

(Oldest Posts First)

I'm just wondering what peoples thoughts are on the All-County League and the Championships being treated as two completely separate competitions when it comes to promotion and relegation? With the present system. a club could be in Division 1 of the ACL but play in the JFC. Likewise, a club playing in Division 4 of the ACL could end up playing in the SFC. Whilst I can't think of any Division 4 or Division 1 clubs who have done this, there are some examples of Division 2 clubs playing in the JFC and Division 3 clubs playing in the SFC in recent years:

• Buncrana (who played in Division 2 of the ACL this year) have dished out hammerings to Na Rossa (17 point win), Lifford (27 point win) and Carndonagh (18 point win) in the group stages of this years JFC (all Division 4 clubs - who had competitive games against each other in the JFC). Lifford would be one of the weaker Junior clubs, but both Na Rossa and Carndonagh would be considered amongst the stronger teams in the JFC, yet both still suffered heavy defeats to Buncrana.
• Convoy (who have just secured promotion to Division 2 of the ACL) are also competing in this years JFC - albeit their games in the JFC group stages were much more competitive.
• If I recall correctly, Downings played in the JFC a few years ago whilst playing in Division 2 of the ACL (and may even have won the JFC that year it if I recall correctly).
• On the flip side, Burt played in the SFC a few years ago despite only playing in Division 3 of the ACL - but are currently in the Relegation play-offs in the IFC - so they could potentially play in the JFC again next year.
• Milford played in Division 4 of the ACL not too long ago, as well as the JFC and now compete in Division 1 and the SFC. In theory, had they not won those JFC and IFC titles, they would still be competing in the JFC.

Personally, I feel that the current system of both competitions being treated separately has lead to too many uncompetitive games in the Championship as clubs competing at a higher level in the ACL obviously have an advantage of facing better teams in the league in preparation for the Championship (just as is it does at Intercounty level) - Buncrana being the prime example this year. Between Na Rossa, Lifford and Carndonagh - they scored a combined total of 1-10 against Buncrana - who themselves scored a total of 6-58 (an average of 2-19 per game). I'm sure there are also similar examples of this at Intermediate level over recent years, but being from a Junior club, I am more aware of this competition. On the flip side of this, I know it could be argued that the current system has resulted in Donegal clubs doing very well in the Ulster JFC in recent years as Urris, Red Hughs and Naomh Colmcille all reached finals in the competition.

In Donegal, we currently have four divisions in the ACL (five technically but there is no promotion/relegation between Division 4 and Division 5) and three levels of Championship football so this will continue to be an issue in my opinion so long as the two competitions are treated separately.

Personally, I would be in favour of implementing a league and championship system similar to that in Co. Tyrone to level the playing field: all Division 1 clubs play in the SFC, all Division 2 clubs play in the IFC and all Division 3 clubs play in the JFC. The League winners and Championship winners are promoted to a higher division and a higher championship grade for the following season with the team finishing last in the league automatically relegated to the league and championship competition below for the following season, with the second last team in the upper division and the 'runner-up' in the lower-division facing each other in a promotion/relegation play-off. This would result in two teams being promoted/relegated each year - with the potential for a third based on the result of the promotion/relegation play-off game.

There are 39 football clubs in Donegal so that could be three divisions of 13 clubs, - but I would imagine 16 Senior Clubs/16 Intermediate Clubs/7 Junior Clubs would be the more likely option. This would see Senior and Intermediate clubs play each other once in the league (15 games per team) and would ensure four groups of four in the championship (3 games per club) - so each club would have atleast 18 games per season (personally, I prefer the 'traditional' straight knock-out system of Championship football myself but that's a separate discussion to this).

Obviously the 16/16/7 approach would result in only 6 league games for each Junior club but Home and Away games could obviously be used here to increase the number of league games to 12 - or there could even be an argument about including those clubs that currently compete in the Division 5/Senior C competitions in with the Junior clubs (Errigal Ciaran's Third Team competes in Division 3 in Tyrone). Most of these teams competed in the Junior B Championship previously and did so with great success.

I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on this? Do people feel this is an issue that needs to be addressed? And if so, what are your thoughts on the proposed system?

hashtag (Donegal) - Posts: 33 - 25/09/2019 18:19:54    2239174

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Replying To hashtag:  "I'm just wondering what peoples thoughts are on the All-County League and the Championships being treated as two completely separate competitions when it comes to promotion and relegation? With the present system. a club could be in Division 1 of the ACL but play in the JFC. Likewise, a club playing in Division 4 of the ACL could end up playing in the SFC. Whilst I can't think of any Division 4 or Division 1 clubs who have done this, there are some examples of Division 2 clubs playing in the JFC and Division 3 clubs playing in the SFC in recent years:

• Buncrana (who played in Division 2 of the ACL this year) have dished out hammerings to Na Rossa (17 point win), Lifford (27 point win) and Carndonagh (18 point win) in the group stages of this years JFC (all Division 4 clubs - who had competitive games against each other in the JFC). Lifford would be one of the weaker Junior clubs, but both Na Rossa and Carndonagh would be considered amongst the stronger teams in the JFC, yet both still suffered heavy defeats to Buncrana.
• Convoy (who have just secured promotion to Division 2 of the ACL) are also competing in this years JFC - albeit their games in the JFC group stages were much more competitive.
• If I recall correctly, Downings played in the JFC a few years ago whilst playing in Division 2 of the ACL (and may even have won the JFC that year it if I recall correctly).
• On the flip side, Burt played in the SFC a few years ago despite only playing in Division 3 of the ACL - but are currently in the Relegation play-offs in the IFC - so they could potentially play in the JFC again next year.
• Milford played in Division 4 of the ACL not too long ago, as well as the JFC and now compete in Division 1 and the SFC. In theory, had they not won those JFC and IFC titles, they would still be competing in the JFC.

Personally, I feel that the current system of both competitions being treated separately has lead to too many uncompetitive games in the Championship as clubs competing at a higher level in the ACL obviously have an advantage of facing better teams in the league in preparation for the Championship (just as is it does at Intercounty level) - Buncrana being the prime example this year. Between Na Rossa, Lifford and Carndonagh - they scored a combined total of 1-10 against Buncrana - who themselves scored a total of 6-58 (an average of 2-19 per game). I'm sure there are also similar examples of this at Intermediate level over recent years, but being from a Junior club, I am more aware of this competition. On the flip side of this, I know it could be argued that the current system has resulted in Donegal clubs doing very well in the Ulster JFC in recent years as Urris, Red Hughs and Naomh Colmcille all reached finals in the competition.

In Donegal, we currently have four divisions in the ACL (five technically but there is no promotion/relegation between Division 4 and Division 5) and three levels of Championship football so this will continue to be an issue in my opinion so long as the two competitions are treated separately.

Personally, I would be in favour of implementing a league and championship system similar to that in Co. Tyrone to level the playing field: all Division 1 clubs play in the SFC, all Division 2 clubs play in the IFC and all Division 3 clubs play in the JFC. The League winners and Championship winners are promoted to a higher division and a higher championship grade for the following season with the team finishing last in the league automatically relegated to the league and championship competition below for the following season, with the second last team in the upper division and the 'runner-up' in the lower-division facing each other in a promotion/relegation play-off. This would result in two teams being promoted/relegated each year - with the potential for a third based on the result of the promotion/relegation play-off game.

There are 39 football clubs in Donegal so that could be three divisions of 13 clubs, - but I would imagine 16 Senior Clubs/16 Intermediate Clubs/7 Junior Clubs would be the more likely option. This would see Senior and Intermediate clubs play each other once in the league (15 games per team) and would ensure four groups of four in the championship (3 games per club) - so each club would have atleast 18 games per season (personally, I prefer the 'traditional' straight knock-out system of Championship football myself but that's a separate discussion to this).

Obviously the 16/16/7 approach would result in only 6 league games for each Junior club but Home and Away games could obviously be used here to increase the number of league games to 12 - or there could even be an argument about including those clubs that currently compete in the Division 5/Senior C competitions in with the Junior clubs (Errigal Ciaran's Third Team competes in Division 3 in Tyrone). Most of these teams competed in the Junior B Championship previously and did so with great success.

I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on this? Do people feel this is an issue that needs to be addressed? And if so, what are your thoughts on the proposed system?"
Any chance of moving this to the Donegal Forum lads? Posted in the National Forum by mistake.

hashtag (Donegal) - Posts: 33 - 25/09/2019 18:39:01    2239181

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