Jim McGuinness admits he was cringing throughout last weekend's GAA action 8 years ago

Jim McGuinness admits he was cringing throughout last weekend's GAA action

Jimmy is not a fan of teams winning matches by landslides.

Four games, four comfy wins.


Last weekend's All Ireland Senior Football Championship matches at Croke Park confirmed what many of us knew before the first throw-in even took place - a set of counties have upped their level and are streets ahead of the pack.

Kerry, Donegal and Tyrone all dismissed their foes without breaking much of a sweat. Fermanagh made a fist of it against Dublin but never looked likely winners.

Jim McGuinness was on Sky Sports duty on Saturday - wonderfully zinging Rachel Wyse at one stage - and stuck around for Sunday's fare.

A couple of moments stayed with the former Donegal boss - the whopping winning margins and how Fermanagh celebrated a defeat like a victory.


Writing in today's Irish Times, McGuinness remarks that he was genuinely disturbed by the gulf in class on show.

'The 60,000 people who turned up will become 30,000 and it will dwindle from there,' he adds. 'Who wants to see that? I felt apprehensive at times in Croke Park on Sunday. I started to cringe inside.'

Sean Quigley celebrates 2/8/2015

Fermanagh had not played at Croke Park since an All-Ireland semi-final in 2004. They have never won the Sam Maguire or, for that matter, an Ulster title. They began 2015 in Division 3 of the Allianz Leagues.


McGuinness witnessed something, post-match, that stuck in his craw.

The Fermanagh boys came back out and they were hugging their family and friends and the scene was one of joy. And that spooked me because they had been well beaten in an All-Ireland quarter-final.

This feeds itself into McGuinness' next point – that a culture of mediocrity has taken hold in the GAA.

He does not believe that everything is being done to develop the talents of the next generation. How many potential Colm Coopers or Michael Murphys are being missed, he argues, because of many counties' haphazard attitudes?


McGuinness also dismisses the counter-argument that certain counties are blessed with natural footballers. He calls the notion "garbage".

To develop the game across the nation, McGuinness feels there needs to be a wider investment of money into youth coaching systems, and structures.

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