News Off the Ball

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Managers copy Dubs' style at their peril

Colm Parkinson

Published 12/03/2014 | 02:30

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8 March 2014; Paddy Andrews, Dublin, in action against Hugh McGrillen, Kildare. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Round 4, Dublin v Kildare, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Paddy Andrews, Dublin, in action against Hugh McGrillen, Kildare

The avalanche of goals and points in the National Football League are being widely credited to the introduction of the black card and defenders' fear of the tackle.

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What hasn't been mentioned is the influence Dublin's All-Ireland win has had on all the copycat managers out there – and make no mistake, Gaelic football is full of copycat managers.

In the past 10 years, managers of weaker teams have copied Tyrone's hard working wing-forwards, then they began to relocate midfielders to full-forward a la Kieran Donaghy, they then moved on to blanket defences like Donegal and now the shift seems to be to copy Dublin's 'attacking' brand of football.

Managers should work with the players they have and devise a plan that suits their players. Dublin can afford to leave their defence exposed, because their firepower up front gives them a chance to outscore their opponents.

Any team not in the top five adopting this 'attacking' philosophy against the likes of Dublin in Croke Park is madness, and the sooner teams like Kildare realise, the lighter the hammering they will suffer.

Irish Independent

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