All-Stars in need of a revamp and player of the year awards 'a popularity contest' for McMahon 2 weeks ago

All-Stars in need of a revamp and player of the year awards 'a popularity contest' for McMahon

Philly McMahon doesn't have much time for the All-Stars and is of the opinion that the player of the year awards are mere 'popularity contests.'

The whole thing is in need of an overhaul according to the Ballymun man.

Advertisement

It was put to Philly that, having only played three games for Dublin all year, Con O'Callaghan was a lucky man to be nominated and Philly agreed but saying that, having had his doubts about the All-Stars for many years, he wasn't surprised.

“Don’t get me started on the All-Stars," the 35-year-old said.

"I think the All-Stars need to be completely revamped. I don’t think there’s anybody that would argue that it doesn’t need to be changed, from the player’s point of view.

"You could argue David Clifford as well, the amount of time he missed. He missed a couple of games as well," McMahon said, when it was put to him that Con O'Callaghan was fortunate to be nominated.

Advertisement

"For me, it’s just hard," he continued.

"There are a few things they need to get right there. Con would be the first one to sit in front of you right now and say he doesn’t deserve to [be nominated] with the amount of game time he’s had. He’s that honest and that’s the type of person that he is.

"It’s the same every year. I remember the year that we played Donegal and there were full backs getting All Stars in the year that they created the mass defence. I remember thinking that you could have given Michael Murphy an All Star that year at full back, he was that far back defending.

Advertisement
Philly McMahon won two All-Stars during his Dublin career.

"Then there are other years where you get players that are [nominated in] positions that they haven’t played in. It doesn’t make sense. As we know, the players of the year are voted by the players so it’s a popularity contest," he continued.

"There is a lot of stuff there that I just don’t agree with and when I was playing I got a dislike towards it. I don’t know if the All-Stars do this every year just to stir up something for the media. It comes across that way, some of the stuff is so obvious. I do think there’s a reshuffle needed there, it’ll start to lose its value if it keeps happening."

As for his own football, Philly was disappointed to be left on the bench in Ballymun's final Dublin SFC group game against Cuala. They lost, were knocked out of the championship and having started most of their games in the full forward line this season, the eight time All-Ireland winner was disappointed that they changed tack on the big day.

Advertisement

"I really enjoyed it," he says of his role in the forwards.

"Corner forward was the first position I played in Gaelic. Myself and Darren Daly were the corner forwards for Dublin minor! But I must have been a shit corner forward because I got pushed back every year until I got to the full back line. It was brilliant this year.

"I was able to read what full backs were doing and I'm sure I was asking questions of opposition management teams like 'what will we do with this fella inside?' But yeah, it was unfortunate, we didn't do that against Cuala, we went a different route, I didn't play and we didn't play that style we'd played in the League - which worked very well, we were getting probably a goal a game from that - it was disappointing we didn't play that way in the Cuala game because it had worked for us up to then."

"I can understand some of the logic to it. We had played Ballyboden in the game before that and it had worked really well in the first half and in the second half, the ball was transitioned slower and then kicked in, and they had men around to break the ball. Do you know, when you play a target man in the full forward line, the full forward shouldn't have to get every ball.

"If he competes for the ball, that'll be enough, because it'll stretch the defence back so that then you have that space out around the D to get shots off because they have more backs in to help the full back line.

"So we slowed the game down a bit, and maybe that was what the management wanted to do, to carry the ball a bit more but unfortunately we fell into the trap of what Cuala wanted to do and they had a effective line across the middle of the pitch and we carried it into it and were turned over."

Former Dublin footballer Philly McMahon at the launch of Focus Ireland’s Shine A Light Night, proudly supported by Bord Gáis Energy.