Earlier this week Dublin forward Diarmuid Connolly made a suggestion which has sent shockwaves through the RTE studios and across the country.
The St. Vincent’s clubman boldly suggested that inter-county games be switched to Saturdays to allow more recovery time for players who have to get up and work on Monday morning.
“Woah, hold on there Dermo!” I hear you gasp, “Where will Joe and Pat go on Sunday afternoons then?”
On the surface it’s a suggestion that will wreck the heads of those traditionalists who settle down each Sunday to watch The Sunday Game, however Diarmuid has got a valid point.
It’s one thing for supporters and pundits to spend their Sundays following or analysing Gaelic games but the game has become far more demanding and therefore players must train to a level never seen before. When Sunday comes, anything less than 70 minutes of flat-out commitment is unacceptable. Therefore, isn’t it only fair that they be given a day to recuperate ahead of heading back to the day job?
Old school supporters will claim that this has always been the case and that players’ jobs were probably far more demanding in the past. I wouldn’t agree with this sentiment. I believe there’s a lot more pressure on young men and women in modern day Ireland and that anything that government, sporting or education bodies can do to make life easier should be explored.
I think Dermo has a case and I don’t see why trailblazing changes such as the one he suggested can’t be considered. Especially if it makes it easier for players to perform to the exceptionally high standards expected of them by supporters and Sunday Game pundits.
Surely Pat Spillane, Colm O’Rourke and Joe Brolly can wind each other up and talk nonsense on a Saturday evening too?