| 7.1°C Dublin

O'Shea: Motivation hard without crowds

Close

Kerry captain Jack O’Shea leads goalkeeper Charlie Nelligan and the rest of the Kerry team around Croke Park in August 1991 during the prematch parade of All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Down

Kerry captain Jack O’Shea leads goalkeeper Charlie Nelligan and the rest of the Kerry team around Croke Park in August 1991 during the prematch parade of All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Down

Kerry captain Jack O’Shea leads goalkeeper Charlie Nelligan and the rest of the Kerry team around Croke Park in August 1991 during the prematch parade of All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Down

Kerry legend Jack O'Shea believes it will be difficult for inter-county players to prepare for this year's championship in the likelihood there will be little or no attendance on the GAA's biggest days.

As it stands, all sporting encounters are to take place behind closed doors until September 13 at the earliest. County teams are permitted to return to training the following day with competitive action pencilled in for just a month later and the GAA are preparing for the possibility that their championships will be played behind closed doors.

And O'Shea believes it will be difficult for players to motivate themselves with the prospect of playing in front of empty stadia.

Artane Boys Band

"I've always said that there are 30 players that can walk behind the Artane Boys Band on All-Ireland final day and to be one of that 30 is so unique and so privileged so you use the crowd in that," he said.

"I loved playing in Croke Park, I loved walking behind the band. It was one of the things I looked forward to and I used the crowd to motivate me and I used them to inspire me.

"Of course, they are a huge part of it. It's very difficult for county players to put in a big effort and know there are going to be no supporters there because that's part of our life, that's part of our upbringing. So, I think crowds are very, very essential and it's important that a player can use the crowd and use that motivation to motivate yourself."

O'Shea was speaking on the GPA's podcast 'The Players' Voice' along with Cork hero Larry Tompkins, who is a publican on Leeside.

Tompkins' bar is open four days a week having been shut for months but he insists walking around Cork city and looking at all the closed venues is "depressing".

"I'm in the heart of Cork city here and there's lots of great pubs here," Tompkins said. "Most of them are well (run); they've done a lot of work to their pubs and premises to get open.

"It's just frustrating because I can't understand that we hear and we know of all these house parties that's are going on and different things; surely if the pubs were open people would have more places to go and, as I said, business people, they do things right like and for the small few that maybe get things wrong, I don't think they (publicans) should be penalised.

"But I think overall, when you look at the heart of Ireland it is the country areas, and it's soul-destroying to see so many places closed.

"Just look at Cork city, it can be depressing walking around it and seeing so many places closed."