Friday 9 December 2016

Colm O'Rourke: Basement battlers prove that winning isn't everything

On-field activities are taking centre stage again and it's about time too, says Colm O'Rourke

Published 05/02/2012 | 05:00

The phoney war is over and hostilities can resume. Maybe hostilities is a bad word after events in Portlaoise, but it is quite amazing how exercised some people get over a melee in a game.

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What are the ordinary rank and file supposed to do? The answer to these things lies with disciplinary bodies and I am very happy to let them deal with it without some mock show of disgust from me about declining disciplinary standards in young people, a declaration that the GAA is culturally inclined towards violence or anything else. Because I don't believe any of these things.

Deal with issues quickly and firmly and get on with the games, that is the answer. Fining clubs an obscene amount of money is very definitely not the answer. I see more matches, especially at underage level, than the vast majority of commentators, and over the last 20 years I have seen a marked improvement in discipline among players, even if there is still a very unsatisfactory number of adults who should never be allowed to have anything to do with young players.

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