Time to pay Managers
Most inter-county players would have no problem with their managers being paid if the rules were changed to allow it.
That was the considered view of Dublin player Barry Cahill as the GAA launched the 2011 Senior Football Championship in Cork yesterday.
Cahill said he would have no objection to the payment of managers, which has been a hot topic since president Christy Cooney's address to Congress over two weeks ago.
The St Brigid's man described the time commitments of managers as "double that" of a player and said that additional stress attached to the role made the job all the more difficult.
Cooney has signalled an intention to start touring county boards in the next two months to address the issue -- after describing it as a "cancer" running through the GAA, at the Mullingar Congress.
However, Cahill believes that most players are of the mind that managers deserve some remuneration for their efforts.
"It wouldn't bother me one little bit whether they got paid or not," he said.
"From a player's point of view, you do put in a huge amount of effort. But what a manager has to do could be double that.
"He has to go around to loads of games, he's putting in a huge amount of work to organise all the training sessions and the whole schedule behind that. It can be very difficult for lads to do that. I don't really think any player would have a problem with managers being paid."
Cahill added that the impact on their family life also elevated the managers' commitment above that of the player.
"The managers are a bit older and if they're married with kids and have a family, it can be very stressful for them at times. It's not something that's easy," he said.
"People see them on the sideline at matches, but there's a huge amount more that goes into it. It's 11 or 12 months of work, round the clock preparations and it can be a lot of work.
"Players realise the demands of being an inter-county manager. Managers have to think seriously when they are offered a job because putting in all these hours, you probably should be getting something back for it."
Cahill feels Dublin will be able to put their league final defeat to Cork behind them and focus on the championship with a clear mind.
The defeat to Cork saw them concede an eight-point lead and revive old fears about their ability to close out a big game.
"I know people might have said that after the match, but our whole 2011 season wasn't based on a league game in April. At the end of the day it was just a National League final for us. It was great to get there having not been there in 12 years," he said.
"Overall we look at the National League experience as a positive one for us. We managed to win six games, drew one and lost the other one by a point. I think there are a lot of positives to take from those eight National League games.
"We got to play five of them in Croke Park as well -- which is beneficial for a lot of the newer and younger lads coming into the team. Hopefully, that can stand to us later in the summer.
"Cork have built up a lot of experience over the last few years and they showed composure as well. They are able to not panic and see out the game. It's something we'll have to try to learn from and move on into the summer."
Cahill, who had established himself in the Dublin team as a wing-back, is a rejuvenated figure since being handed a new role at midfield for the game against Cork in February and his performances there have strengthened Pat Gilroy's options.
"Maybe it does suit me playing there because you are able to get on a lot of ball, get forward and get back," he said.
"There is a lot of hard work playing around the middle third, but it's something I enjoy."
Nor does he feel compromised by a lack of height, which is traditionally associated with a midfield role.
"The days are gone now where goalkeepers just put the ball down and boot it 70 yards out the pitch. Even from a size point of view, Anthony Tohill, Ciaran Whelan who would have been 6' 4" or 6' 5", there are not many of them around now," he said.
"A lot of teams now would play one big man and one slightly smaller man to do a lot of the running and be more of a line man. I suppose that's a role I would see myself being able to play. Shane Ryan did it very well for us for a number of years.
"I don't think there is as much emphasis on the middle two any more, it's more about the middle eight. With kick outs in particular, we have a very good goalkeeper in Stephen Cluxton, and he's able to place them whether it's short or long."