"Football has to be about risks" - The GAA Hour discuss the issues with the Donegal club football final 1 year ago

"Football has to be about risks" - The GAA Hour discuss the issues with the Donegal club football final

"It was just deplorable stuff to watch."

GAA fans on Sunday would have had their fill watching Ballyhale Shamrocks beat O'Loughlin Gaels in the Kilkenny senior hurling final, in a thrilling match.


The referee had left his whistle at home as he let these lads go hell for leather, and it was end to end stuff, a great display of the attacking game.

Afterwards, I'm sure viewers were delighted to see that there was more entertainment, as Naomh Conaill played St Eunan's in the Donegal senior football final.

It didn't take long for the boredom to set in however, as the lateral passing, defensive, negative and slow pace of the game was evident from the very start.


Speaking on the GAA Hour, I made the point that it's getting harder to watch these types of matches, when you see that the game has moved on elsewhere.

"About five or six years ago, when that was the norm, it was already hard to watch, no one was enjoying that, but at least it was the norm in the very top level of county football, to the very bottom of club football.

"But now, after such an exciting county season, and we spent the summer watching lots of high scoring games, lots of great kick passing, forward attacking, and really entertaining stuff.

"Then you're looking to get your fix of football, and you watch this club match, and it's like that, and you're sent back, it's just such a damp squib.

"Now it's even harder to watch, and harder to stomach, and a culture change needs to happen there."


Colm Parkinson believes that the issue here is players are being risk adverse, and are prioritising safe play over attacking football.

"You don't get scores unless you want to take a risk, football has to be about risking, going at them, going with a fellow off your shoulder, breaking through that line, and going at pace.

"Look at Oisin Mullin, look at the way Mayo break down these systems, it's just very unusual to see such static, slow, sideways football, and they're proud of this.

"I'm a football man, but it's very hard to watch that Ballyhale hurling game, and then sit down and watch that, it was just deplorable stuff to watch."


Niall McIntyre is known primarily for his hurling expertise, but like all good GAA men, understands and enjoys a good game of football, but this wasn't a game for the purist.

Rory Kavanagh is the manager of St Eunan's

"I seen someone tweet this morning that it was like watching Mrs Brown's Boys after watching Fawlty Towers, like the Kilkenny hurling game was the complete opposite of the Donegal club football.

"The Kilkenny game was hard-hitting, boys were bursting forward, then the Donegal football, it was just kind of static, passing across the screen, and it's kind of like this defensive system is something to be proud of, but it's a bit of a cop out to call that defensive football.


"We have seen during the summer, that teams can play defensive football and can still be entertaining, and still take risks."

Listen to the full discussion on the GAA Hour now.