Wednesday 7 December 2016

Colm O'Rourke: Modern-day football's about more than gym stats

Time to go back to the drawing board as kids show us the way forward, says Colm O'Rourke

Published 12/02/2012 | 05:00

Last week between Friday and Wednesday I saw seven Gaelic football matches, four in the flesh and three on television.

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The four matches I watched in the cold were three schools games and the Allianz League game between Meath and Monaghan. Then, on Setanta, I watched Dublin v Kerry, Donegal v Down and Kildare v Tyrone.

The contrast between the types of games witnessed was just extraordinary. Some of the senior encounters resembled the Ireland-Wales rugby match (which I also attended) with hordes of players chasing the ball all over the pitch without much in the way of positional play or individual marking. The underage games on the other hand had more of a distinctive shape. Players more or less stayed in their positions, the ball was kicked regularly and the skill level was high.

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