Emigration hits the GAA hard
By: Cathal Dervan | Published Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 2:34 PM | Updated Friday, September 9, 2011, 10:21 PM
The scourge of emigration is hitting GAA teams hard all across the country, but Monaghan fans and their manager are keeping their fingers crossed with regards to star forward Tommy Freeman.
The former all-star is due to leave for New York shortly after failing to find work at home, but boss Eamonn McEneaney is hoping his top player might change his mind before he’s due to go.
“You live in hope that something might change his mind, although I think he has made up his mind that he is going,” said McEneaney this week.
“Certainly, at this moment in time, it is a much better deal for Tommy than what he is getting here. From his point of view, he is going to be looked after, basically.
“There is very little work out there in Ireland. I know a lot of guys out there who have no work, no job, and it is very hard to blame them for doing anything.
“The future looks very bleak for an awful lot of kids and even boys who are in college that might be coming out that are promising footballers are going to have to look elsewhere.”
McEneaney may well be wasting his time praying for a Freeman u-turn, but he isn’t the only GAA manager in that boat at club or county level.
One manager suggested to me this week that clubs in rural Ireland will be forced to amalgamate before the scourge of emigration is lifted.
At county level Louth, for example, are trying desperately to get three players who emigrated to Australia back on board in time for the championship -- and two of them have subsequently moved on to Boston in the search for gainful employment.
Ireland Inc. is not a pretty sight at present, and the GAA is starting to pay the price at home. It really is time they did something about it.Sideline Views
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IDIOTS OF THE WEEK
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