Friday 23 August 2019

Draconian regimes no good for players or teams

Classy forward James Kielt has left the Derry football panel (Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE)
Classy forward James Kielt has left the Derry football panel (Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE)

Eugene McGee

The trend of footballers 'walking out' on their county panels seems to be increasing all the time, and we can only assume that the often draconian measures being applied by some managers have a part to play in this.

In recent times, nearly half a dozen players have left the Tyrone panel, while just last week Derry forward James Kielt also quit.

On the other hand, several players are being dropped by manager for any deviation from the strict training regimes - the likes of Wexford hurler Jack Guiney in Wexford hurling and three players on the Antrim football panel who played a club game the day before Saturday's clash with Laois.

I often wonder about the drastic nature of some of these decisions. Why drop a player completely from a panel?

If the idea is to punish the offending player, who actually suffers most - the player himself or his team? Is it not better to retain the offender on the panel but have him in the dugout and available to help the team if really necessary?

In that way the player still gets punished by being dropped in public but he can still help out his team and redeem himself if called upon as a sub when his team needs him.

Punishing the team while punishing the alleged offender does not seem to make much sense.

Of course all these withdrawals and discipline on players simply reflect the ever-growing tendency of some managers to take total control of the players.

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