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21st Jul 2016

Derry manager Damian Barton’s amazing threat really puts 2016 GAA into perspective

Well played, sir

Conan Doherty

Damian Barton is supposed to be on a stay of execution.

Derry’s loss to Tyrone in the first round of the Ulster championship put the 1993 All-Ireland winner under pressure to keep his job (apparently), in this his first season as an inter-county manager.

Beating Louth in their first qualifier was just delaying the inevitable (in some eyes).

That’s the way of the world nowadays and it is a sad, sad state of affairs.

Managers are criticised for having a short-term vision. Mass defences are said to be a byproduct of coaches looking for quick success. Then, some places turn around and report that people in positions only a matter of months are about to be shipped out before the summer’s even over. Short-term attitudes from a lot of managers come from short-term expectations. Impatient expectations.

But Derry beat Louth. And then they beat Meath. And then they beat Cavan.

Damian Bartun and team celebrate after the game 14/7/2016

Now, that stay of execution has brought Barton to the brink of doing what no Derry manager has managed to do in the last nine years.

If the Oak Leafers beat Tipperary on Saturday, they’re in the All-Ireland quarter-final for the first time since 2007. And Damian Barton has threatened to quit if they get there as he blasted the “disgusting disgrace” of some media reporting.

“You are looking at a manager [Cavan boss, Terry Hyland] who brought a team up to Division 1 this year, arguably a very successful year, while I am in my first season and people are talking,” Barton is quoted in the Irish Examiner.

“What a load of nonsense.

“I am fed up of these people talking nonsense. I am not interested in speaking to them.

“You know this, if we get over Round 4, I might just quit. Quit whenever you’re ahead.”

It seems to be the only thing for it nowadays. It comes straight from the Malcolm Tucker school of spin but it’s the only way short-sighted, reactionary minds are appeased. Leave them wanting more.

Derry feature heavily on our latest GAA podcast. Click here to subscribe on iTunes.

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