Kerry footballer Paul Galvin has warned the GAA authorities to accept that payment for players is inevitable.
Speaking to the iTalkSport show on Setanta TV, the All-Ireland winner offered his reaction to a recent spate of inter-county retirements due to work pressures.
“I think that’s a flaw in the GAA. It’s a brilliant organization and it has given me a lot. But life after the GAA can be very lonely for footballers and you can be very isolated,” said Galvin.
“Players have had to look at alternative employment and careers as a result of the recession. I’ve had to do it myself. I think it’s understandable at this stage if players are feeling the pinch in terms of their work and career.”
Galvin also said on the show that he believes a move towards professionalism isn’t very far away.
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“Yeah, I think it’s inevitable now,” he added. “I would preface that by saying it’s not something I want or would look for because at this stage of my career I could never put a monetary value on what I’ve achieved or won and the memories I have. Those memories for me are priceless at this stage.
“But it’s different for younger guys who are in college, in the middle of a degree and don’t know whether they’re going to get a job out of it. It is inevitable and you can’t say otherwise.
“I feel that sometimes the GAA are trying to harness what is a natural progression for the game. Who’s to say the founding fathers back 125 years ago wouldn’t be looking down saying isn’t it great what we have created? Look where we’ve grown -- isn’t it great what we’ve become?
“If there’s a player at home who is devoting himself to GAA, who is serious about it and prepares himself the right way, who just wants to make it but has no job. Would five or 10 grand a year be better than nothing? Of course it would.”
TYRONE ran Derry ragged in the NFL game in Omagh, 2-15 to 0-9, to make it two wins out of two, but manager Mickey Harte was realistic afterwards.
“It looks pretty positive, but we won’t be getting carried away by it because you’re only one result away from changing the complexion of how anybody views us,” said Harte.
“People view us as an okay team at the minute and playing decent football. But you’ve got to be consistent across the season for any of us to believe that this trend is likely to continue.”
Derry captain Paddy Bradley wants to see a backlash from his side after this defeat.
“We have lost here before and you don’t like losing heavily at the home of your biggest rivals,” insisted Bradley after a second straight defeat in the league.
“We would expect a response, but there is no doubt some of our players, including myself, aren’t at the necessary fitness levels required at this stage.”
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KILDARE and Monaghan are awaiting a report from the GAA’s disciplinary committee after a mass brawl just before half-time in last Sunday’s NFL game in Clones that Kildare lost by a score of 0-17 to 0-12.
Brian Flanagan was sent off before the second half resumed, but Kildare boss Kieran McGeeney doesn’t expect any further action to be taken.
McGeeney said, “I didn’t really see it. There seemed to be something on the pitch and then it went to the sideline. Then there was people shouting at each other going into the tunnel.
“It is hard to know what is going on inside other people’s mind when those things are happening.
“There is a lot of testosterone flowing out there, things happen and people don’t want to seen that they are backing down. That’s about the size of it.
“The referee Joe McQuillan dealt with four people at half-time so I take it that will be it, unless something else comes out of it. It is hard to say if you see a bunch of people, you can’t see anything in particular about it.”
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