Sunday 4 December 2016

A perfect parting gift

Eamonn Sweeney

Published 27/11/2011 | 05:00

I'm worried about the number of Gaelic footballers travelling Down Under to play Australian Rules. It simply isn't big enough. A few years back panicky county board men assured us that there'd be a huge exodus. But how many lads are actually there at the moment? A dozen or so?

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The GAA will have to remedy this. For starters they can invite as many Australian scouts as possible to this country and fund their stay while they're here. And they should also set up special camps where promising players are taught the basics of the Australian game by Anthony Tohill and other returned veterans of the Antipodean game.

There may be objections that such a course of action would lead to large numbers of young footballers leaving this country. But the fact is that, as our decline into an impoverished vassal state continues, hundreds if not thousands of young footballers and hurlers are going to be leaving this country over the next few years.

Isn't setting a few of them up with decent jobs as professional sportsmen before they go the least the GAA should do?

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