Westmeath manager bucks the GAA trend with brutal honesty on upcoming opponent 7 years ago

Westmeath manager bucks the GAA trend with brutal honesty on upcoming opponent

It's not exactly unfair.

Even Mayo folk would listen to Tom Cribbin speak and agree, "No, we're not the same threat as Dublin. We don't have their depth. We don't have their success."


It just seems strange when you see a manager actually saying anything though. It seems strange when you see anyone in the GAA saying anything.

Tom Cribbin doesn't mind vocalising what he feels though. He doesn't mind providing an honest analysis of an opponent he's facing on Saturday and he doesn't mind poking the Mayo bear.


Because he's not really saying anything that provocative. But he is saying something and even that is enough to stand out.

"I know Mayo are a decent team but they're not in the same league as Dublin, I feel," the Westmeath manager told The GAA Hour football podcast. "I know they have decent forwards on the line but I still don't think they're of the same quality.

"They don't have All-Ireland medals in their locker at senior level, and under-21 and minor. I just think Dublin have a huge abundance of players. I think the team genuinely are at a different level than all other teams and it's just a truth. It's a fact."

Listen to the full brilliant interview with Colm Parkinson (from 11:44) on The GAA Hour.


You're not supposed to stoke the fire when you're building up to a game. Keep your head down, crawl through the long grass. But Cribbin sees the struggles Stephen Rochford has with this being his first season in charge. He's been there himself.

"I know teams probably don't say things like that when they're going up to meet the opposition but I know from my own experience that, the first year with a team, you learn one thing through O'Byrne Cups and through leagues then you find a different thing about a player when you see them in the heat of battle, in knockout championship," the Lake County boss explained.

"I know that's probably the situation in Mayo, that he's [Stephen Rochford] learning the whole time and you can see it because he's improving. Every game, he's slightly improving and he has slightly changed his team. Getting the balance is the trick. It's not always the best 15 players is the right trick because some players play better in the same position.

"Lads are afraid. They might think that other managers might use stuff like that to drive on their team. I just don't operate like that. The hardest thing when you're playing Dublin - as against any other team - is trying to get your team to believe that they can beat them. That's the most difficult thing. It's not coming up with systems, it's basically trying to get into their heads that they are good enough to beat them.

"I just call it as I see it."

Listen to our GAA podcast with Colm Parkinson. Click here to subscribe on iTunes.