Wednesday 16 August 2017

Martin Breheny: Goulding's 2010 All Star snub one of the worst ever - his retirement is a setback for creativity

Daniel Goulding: 'difficult role'
Daniel Goulding: 'difficult role'
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Daniel Goulding's remarks as he signed off on his inter-county career at the age of 30 are interesting for reasons that aren't exactly an endorsement of modern-day Gaelic football.

"I'm not getting as much enjoyment out of it as I did before. I was best suited to a corner-forward position and that role got more difficult to play over the years," he said.

Can we take it that by getting 'more difficult' he was referring to corner-forwards having to scramble back into their own half to play as defenders, a role totally unsuited to the more creative of the attacking species? Grim zealots who regard 'turnovers', 'plays', kick-outs, possession stats etc as the only real latest gospel, will, no doubt, claim that the comments are those of a player who can't hack it in the new age.

In reality, his assessment is that of a skilful, thoughtful player, for whom creativity always outweighed the dreary sense of functionality which has become so embedded in the game. Goulding finishes his Cork career with All-Ireland, Munster and NFL medals, plus one All-Star award won in 2009. He should have had a second one a year later after Cork won the All-Ireland but controversially lost out.

Never before or since in the 45-year history of the scheme did All-Ireland winners have no representative in the forward line. Goulding was Cork's stand-out candidate in 2010 but missed out in an attack that featured three Down men. His omission may not have been the biggest All-Star sin but it still comes under the grievous fault heading.

Irish Independent

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