Tuesday 25 June 2019

Joe Brolly

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Mattie Donnelly scores Tyrone’s second goal against Galway last Sunday. Photo: David Fitzgerald

Joe Brolly: 'Slowly but surely teams are waking up to the fact that Gaelic football has been subjected to an enormous con trick' 

I have been arguing for several years that Tyrone's method of play was the problem, not the players. As their heavy zonal defensive system advanced into its third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh year, a culture of solo-running, hand-passing, forwards dropping back and taking up positions inside their defensive 45 became established. When this happens, creativity is stifled and it becomes...

Dublin manager Jim Gavin with Diarmuid Connolly

Joe Brolly: Jim Gavin better pray that the four in a row is not blown while Diarmuid Connolly is in America 

Paraic Farrelly from Cavan is obsessed with Gaelic football and for some time, we have kept up a lively WhatsApp correspondence. I could be sitting in a packed court 11, waiting to rise to my feet to cross-examine a flummoxed detective, when I feel the buzz in my pocket: 'Greg Blaney was a better number 11 than Brian McGuigan, what do you think?' Or, 'What is your best ever half-back...

Dejected Derry defender Christopher McKaigue after last Sunday’s defeat to Donegal in Celtic Park. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Joe Brolly: Game is not about winning, it's about living 

Anto Finnegan came to Celtic Park for the match last Sunday. We went for drink beforehand on the sound basis that it is no longer possible to watch a Derry match sober. As far as Anto is concerned, his motor neurones are a mere hindrance. His legs and arms no longer work and his son Conal has to tilt his head back when it falls forward, but like The Black Knight in Monty Python, these are trifles. For two hours we laughed and reminisced on the street outside Mary Bs, Anto sucking down bottles of lager out of a straw as Conal held the bottle. Life is for living.

If things don’t change soon for Derry football, selling Celtic Park for social housing will be the only humane thing to do. Photo: Sportsfile

Joe Brolly: Abandoning our principles has left Derry in tatters 

Horse goes into a pub and falls into conversation with a donkey. Says to the donkey, "What do you do for a living?" Donkey says, "I take kids on my back at the beach. What about yourself?" Horse says, "I'm retired now, just taking it handy." "What did you do?" asks the donkey. Horse says, "I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I used to be a champion racehorse." "No way," says the donkey. "I ran on the flat and over the jumps. Won the Derby, the St Leger and, in the twilight of my career, I won the Grand National." "Wow," says the donkey.

Delegates vote to introduce the new football championship structure at Congress last weekend. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Joe Brolly: GAA ideals drowning in cash flow 

We'll start this week with a little quiz: 1. Which GAA leader said this to the Irish Independent in November 2015? "We have taken a decision that we do not want any more inter-county games. Round-robin or group stages - whether in provinces or outside - would increase the number of games, so any proposal that includes them will not be looked at any further. We are simply not going to squeeze the clubs any more. On the contrary, we are trying to free up more time for them."