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.”
ARMAGH were the big NFL winners last weekend, but manager Paddy O’Rourke wasn’t surprised by their 2-8 to 0-10 victory away to Kerry in Tralee.
“We’ve very happy but we set ourselves a target of four points and we probably should have four (after the first two rounds),” he said.
“If you look back at the last game and the chances we had and the chances that Cork had in the drawn match, that gave us a bit of belief for the game tonight.
“We had to get into the game and upset them. We came out to go at it from the first minute and start off where we left off last week.
“This gives us a tremendous lift. There’s nothing like winning. There’s nothing like facing good teams like Cork or Kerry to give you belief. We had a lot of young players out there. We had five and maybe six under-21 players out there at the end of the game. Winning games like that is going to do them a power of good.”
LOUTH boss Peter Fitzpatrick felt his side deserved a battling draw with Galway in the NFL clash in Pearse Stadium on Sunday after they came from six points down just 20 minutes into the match. The final score was Galway 1-8, Louth 0-11.
“People may say we lost two points here, but I must say I am very happy with a draw,” he said. “In the first half, things didn’t look too well, we were five or six points down and in fairness they got stuck in and were just two behind at half-time.
“But in the second-half it just goes to show how important having a panel is because we threw in five subs and a few fresh legs.”
Galway manager Alan Mulholland was disappointed with the result. He said, “We had scored 1-5 in the first 15-odd minutes and we only finished up with 1-8.
“You could take that as a great start or a poor finish I suppose. We started extremely well and we are a bit disappointed that we couldn’t see it through after that.”
MEATH finally won on the road on Sunday as they recorded a 0-17 to 0-5 victory over Westmeath in Mullingar, their first away win in three years.
Meath manager Seamus McEnaney said, “Meath had won one match away from home in five years so we are delighted.
“That was something we needed to change, the famine of away wins. Our attitude had to be 100% right because Meath have traveled to Tipperary in the past and travelled to Antrim last year -- under me -- and we’ve been complacent.
“We had to take responsibility for that and we did, we made sure our attitude was right.”
LAOIS boss Justin McNulty was delighted with his team’s 2-9 to 2-5 win over hosts Donegal on Sunday.
“We would be very happy with the performance and the work-rate,” said McNulty. “It was phenomenal. I’m delighted. The boys gave it their all. The players shouldered a lot of criticism after the defeat to Mayo so it was very satisfying that they bounced back.”
Donegal boss Jim McGuinness was asked again about Kevin Cassidy’s retirement after Cassidy appeared at the game as a TV analyst just hours after confirming he won’t return to the squad.
“Kevin made his decision and that’s it. We have to move on now,” said McGuinness. “He made his comments and they are what they are. From my point of view we have dealt with the issue.”
CLARE hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald refuses to read anything into the Waterford Crystal Cup semifinal win (3-17 to 4-9) over Waterford last Sunday.
“If the truth be told, they showed no great interest in the game, and not for one moment would I consider it to have any relevance in relation to our Munster championship semifinal clash in June,” Fitzgerald said.
“Yes we played all right on the day, but that is not the quality of the Waterford that I know so well. We got a few lucky breaks that yielded us goals, but the reality is that it was little more than a challenge game and one that we aren’t taking too seriously.”
DEFENDER John Dalton is the latest Kilkenny player to retire from inter-county hurling. The 26-year-old departs with five All-Ireland titles, all won as a substitute. PJ Ryan, Eddie Brennan, Cha Fitzpatrick and Michael Kavanagh have also quit the Kilkenny panel . . .
DUBLIN’S NFL game with Mayo will be replayed in Castlebar on March 31 after the original fixture was abandoned at halftime last Saturday night due to fog . . .
A TWO game suspension for Cork’s Paul Kerrigan, imposed after his red card in the league game with Armagh, has been quashed on appeal . . .
PETER Kelly expects to be fit in time to return for Dublin’s NHL opener against Galway on February 26 . . .
DUBLIN will appeal the red card issued to defender James McCarthy in the abandoned NFL clash with Mayo.
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