With the dust having barely had time to settle on this year’s championship, preparations for the new season will begin in earnest tonight when the 2014 provincial championship draws will be screened live on RTE2 from 7pm.
The draws will be take place in Croke Park for the football championships in Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster, as well as for the Leinster and Munster hurling championships.
In the Connacht SFC, it’s already known that Mayo will travel to New York and Galway will travel to Ruislip to face London in the first round, with one of the trio of Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo set to receive a bye into the semi-finals.
In the Leinster SFC, All-Ireland champions Dublin along with the other three semi-finalists from this season – Kildare, Meath and Wexford – will receive a bye into the quarter-finals where they will be joined by one of the other seven competing teams with the rest competing in three first round ties.
The controversial new seeding system will be in place in the Munster SFC which means the quartet of Limerick, Clare, Waterford and Tipperary will be drawn in the two quarter-finals against each other. The winners of these ties will face either Cork or Kerry in the semi-final.
The Ulster SFC will be an open draw which will see two of the nine teams paired together in a preliminary round with the winner progressing to the quarter-finals.
There is an interesting change to the Leinster SHC format that will see Antrim, Carlow, Laois, London and Westmeath play a round-robin series with the top two teams progressing to the quarter-final. As reigning champions, Dublin are rewarded with a bye to the semi-final stage.
The Munster SHC will be an open draw between the five counties – holders Limerick, Clare, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford. There will be two quarter-finals with one team receiving a bye into the semi-final stage.