Friday 16 November 2018

Dubs' successes not solely down to finance, says director general

The games’ development schemes that operate in Dublin are being made available to other counties and while the model doesn’t suit all of them, Tom Ryan insists that every effort is being made to provide ones that do. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
The games’ development schemes that operate in Dublin are being made available to other counties and while the model doesn’t suit all of them, Tom Ryan insists that every effort is being made to provide ones that do. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Martin Breheny

Tom Ryan has rejected the theory that Dublin's overwhelming dominance in football is solely due to the amount of money allocated to the capital for games' development.

He argues that the GAA has a responsibility to attract as many youngsters as possible to play Gaelic Games in towns and cities - including Dublin - and investment in coaching games is a big factor in that drive.

"This Dublin football team would be exceptional in any era. Do they have advantages that others don't? They do, but that comes from the way the country is set up and the size of the Dublin population.

"Away from the county game, we have an onus to get more people playing our games in the urban centres, Dublin being by far the largest. We want to encourage people to play our games rather than go elsewhere or maybe not play any sport at all," Ryan said.

The games' development schemes that operate in Dublin are being made available to other counties and while the model doesn't suit all of them, Ryan insists that every effort is being made to provide ones that do.

Dominated

"I'd reject the idea that the money spent in Dublin has made them what they are. Other factors than money for games' development go into putting county teams together.

"Kilkenny hurlers dominated for so long, but other counties kept working hard and look at where the game is now.

"The way to do that in football is not to nobble Dublin, but to get other counties up to their level and we're trying to do that. We distribute our resources fairly based on a number of factors. Claiming that money spent on games' development in Dublin is solely responsible for the good times their footballers are enjoying now is simplistic," he said.

At the less successful end of the spectrum, the question of whether to introduce a two-tier football championship is back on the agenda.

Ryan believes it has merit, but only if properly planned and run.

"We would need to have the counties concerned behind it. If they see that there's something positive in it, then it can work. It would need to be given proper prominence and promotion - it just can't be put there in the hope that it will work on its own," he said.

Regarding the 'Super 8s', which replaced the quarter-finals this year, Ryan said that it was too early to make a definitive judgement on them.

"They were a significant departure and certainly had a different feel to them. They were a success in several spheres but not an unqualified success.

"That's why it's important to give them time to see how they work out over a few years."

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