Friday 18 January 2019


The dust has more or less settled on the two semi-finals and the defeated teams have shuffled off stage. I suspect the Mayo analysis will need to be a little more thorough than the Dubs - Dublin have won two of the last three finals while for Mayo, the Grand Obsession continues.

Two marvellous games and yet another managerial casualty. It's a pressurised world and a quick race around the country indicates there is close on 50% of the Gaelic football managerial positions vacant. Why the turnover? Why the resignations?

If you attended the game in Limerick or Croke Park and witnessed the atmosphere generated by the crowd, and the pressure that flows in the direction of the players and management teams I suppose you might understand why the appointments have a short life cycle.

I had a look at the Mayo sideline in action on Saturday and the first thing that strikes you is the number of personnel who manned that area.

Sunday was more of the same with a small bus surely required to get the back room teams of both counties into the stadium. Behind the sidelines remember there are logistics officers, statisticians, video men, kit men, equipment personnel, media managers and the usual pocket of county board officers.

How does one man manage all those men? Why would he want to? And I haven't mentioned the 30-plus panel of players.

It has much to do with the glory of sport and the thrill of seeing a dream realised and a county's spirits raised. There might be the guts of 15 vacancies just now, but this peculiar form of madness we call Gaelic football will ensure all posts will be filled by Christmas. And mostly by sane men.

The next manager faces a requirement and a pressure few if any others face: win the All-Ireland or bust. No pressure then. Maybe it will be a mad man that gets the job . . .

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