Too much pressure on GAA players – Seamus Duke on Sport

It is not too often that I would be agreeing with Joe Brolly. In fact I would disagree with 90% of what he says, but he wrote an excellent article about the current state of inter-county football in the Sunday Independent at the weekend.

  The unbelievable and unreasonable training programmes being foisted on amateur players now is gone beyond a joke and for certain the craic is gone out of playing football at the top level.

  One story that I know of in recent years was before the third test on the Lions Tour in Australia. Warren Gatland gave the players the night off to go out for a few pints seven days before they played the decisive third game.

  In Gaelic Football, if a county player was seen in a public house within two months of a championship game they would be turfed off the panel for the year.

  I know that team managers have to get results and they are demanding more and more from players, but it is gone too far in recent years.

  Up to only a few years ago the players used to go to wherever the supporters and their families were and socialised with them after a game, but now it’s straight to the pool and the gym in preparation for the next day and the next game.

   I am convinced that the vast majority of supporters don’t understand the huge commitment that players have to make to play for their county senior team now.

  Their social lives are put on hold for the duration of their careers now. They make incredible sacrifices.