Tuesday 20 March 2018

Bosses and subs should be out front too

Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Independent.ie newsdesk

Remember the post All-Ireland pitch invasions when hordes of supporters dashed onto Croke Park to 'share' the moment?

It was chaotic and dangerous, not to mention deeply unfair on players. Yet, when the GAA announced in 2010 they were planning to end the stampede, the reaction from some influential quarters could scarcely have been more outraged if it were suggested that the trophy presentation be held in private under the Hogan Stand.

Those who supported the mayhem talked of tradition and of it being 'a special part of All-Ireland final day'. They warned that if Dublin won the football title, nothing would stop the denizens of Hill 16 forcing their way on to the pitch.

Well, Dublin did win the All-Ireland in 2011 - and twice since then - but there have been no unruly scenes, no more than with any other county.

Basically, the public responded sensibly, making it a far more enjoyable occasion for the players, who are no longer forced to flee the pitch immediately after the presentation.

All of which goes to show that not all traditions are worth retaining.

That includes the current policy of allowing only the starting 15 to parade. It would be an inclusive change to have all 26 players take part in the walkabout.

Still on All-Ireland final day, isn't it time the two managers, who are now such central figures, joined the teams for the introduction to the Uachtarán na héireann?

I'm sure Jim Gavin and Stephen Rochford would be happy to be the first to do it on Sunday week.

Irish Independent

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