LFL revamps Sheeran Cup to spice up campaign
Ready, steady, go!
The 2013/2014 Leinster Football League season will get underway next weekend and this time some radical changes have been introduced that will spice up the new campaign.
As part of a drive to give Development League players an opportunity to get more competitive action against senior teams the LFL's blue riband event, the Sheeran Cup, has been revamped.
Previously knock-out, the Sheeran has now been divided into 12 groups, some with four teams, some with five.
The sides in each group will take on each other with the top two advancing to the next, knock-out phase. The lower two or three teams go on to the Gerry Ellis Cup.
"What we want to do is to give Development League players a chance to play more games against senior teams, and help them along in their development," explained LFL Cup Secretary Derek Collins, who will also be involved in the appointment of referees.
"Clubs also wanted cup games to start them off in the new season. The idea came out of the annual general meeting and it had a lot of support."
The LFL has from the very start put a big emphasis on the Development League and this is seen as another way of promoting the concept.
To ensure fair play for all this season the LFL will be putting a big focus on player identity cards.
Each player will have his own ID, with his photo, name, date of birth and club.
As pointed out by Derek Collins, managers, or perhaps some other club official, will be required to have these cards at games.
If there is some doubt about the eligibility surrounding a player, the opposition or officials can request to have a look at that player's ID card.
The LFL have also sought to do what they can to ease the financial burden on clubs.
"We are trying to bring down prices and costs to try and help clubs and their financial commitments such as reducing registration fees," added Collins.
The registration for the Development League is €150 which will cover up to 15 players.
The Development League is scheduled to get underway in September.
As is usually the case a number of new teams have joined the LFL while others have moved on as the scene is set for the big kick-off.