The footballers begin their National Football League campaign on Sunday in the vertigo-inducing lands of Division Three. It’s the first time in my memory that Waterford have been outside of the bottom tier, excepting those occasions when a rejigging of the League led to two/four conferences of equal standing. With that considered, you’d be imagining some right sexy ties to get the juices of the casual Waterford football fan going. So looking at that lineup for Division Three . . . oh dear, it has an oddly familiar look. They’ve played every one of those teams in the last five years – h/t to gaainfo.com – so no exotic match-up with the likes of Kerry or Tyrone. Given the quasi-contempt with which the big guns treat the NFL, and the supposedly smaller gaps between said big guns and those snapping beneath them, you’d think that one of them would stumble down in to Division Three. Not on the evidence of this year’s table, which suggests that football is not as egalitarian as a comparison with hurling would suggest.
On a more positive note, the quality of the division would lead one to believe that Waterford have nothing to fear. Tipperary galloped from Division Four to Division Two in the space of two years in 2008-9. Why not Waterford?