With everyone plotting defensive systems, Corofin's attacking one for Ian Burke is bloody refreshing 5 months ago

With everyone plotting defensive systems, Corofin's attacking one for Ian Burke is bloody refreshing

Corofin were struggling on Sunday.

Ballintubber were dominating in midfield and Corofin weren't getting much of opportunity to go forward. When they did go forward, they looked devoid of ideas and they lacked any real direction or conviction in their play. By half-time, they'd only managed three scores with Ballintubber's defensive set-up visibly frustrating the reigning All-Ireland champions.

Then Ian Burke came onto the pitch.

And that's when things began to change for Corofin.

With his very first possession, he got in for a well-taken goal. His mere presence invigorating and clearly rejuvenating his teammates who'd gone from flat to spring heeled in seconds.

Moments later, Burke loses his man with some dazzling movement and gets on the ball in and around the danger-zone again.

The Corofin cavalry bombs forward in support. They know he's going to pop it out and if that pop-pass doesn't come to them, the next one might.

This time around, Burke pops it to Lundy.

And Lundy pops it to Silke, who'd continued that run from deep.

Back to Lundy.

And Burke pops it over, after some more splendid movement.

Credit: TG4

That's a focal point, that's a game changer. 1-1 from two possessions, game changed.

And Wooly, speaking on Monday's GAA Hour Show was waxing lyrical about Burke's role and Burke himself.

"He completely changed the game. He gave them that focal point, he threw the ball around really well and it just goes to show, and I'm constantly saying this, he gives them more of a game plan.

"Defensive game-plans are easy to identify. You see how many men are dropping back and you know where they're dropping," said Parkinson.

Attacking ones are harder to spot and extremely difficult to defend against.

"Often, teams don't have forward game-plans. How simple is having a focal point up front? The ball, initially is won by him and then everybody runs off him. Everybody knows, everybody comes alive and runs off it...It's the most basic, obvious game plan to give good quality ball to that focal point...

"Look how Ian Burke, being that focal point, he obviously has brilliant movement but look at how that just transformed how Corofin looked," added Wooly.

Defenders are in panic stations.

"It drags the full back out of the way, everybody is just panicking about this guy who's just won the ball," added Conan Doherty.

It's a tactic that has been swallowed up in the modern game but old is often gold and that's definitely the case here.

"It's basic, but it still works in the game today because I think that because of defensive systems taking over so much, that focal point, target man is gone. The coaching in the forward has suffered and that target man has gone out of the game. That's why Ian Burke is so refreshing at doing it because it's just such a throw-back."

You can listen to the Ian Burke love-in, the Kieran Fitzgerald interview and much more from Monday's GAA Hour Show here.