Sunday 17 December 2017

Inter-county game too serious - Frankie Dolan

Dolan: Some regrets
Dolan: Some regrets
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Former Roscommon footballer Frankie Dolan believes the infamous 'naked pool' match he took part in over 13 years ago in a Derry hotel was "blown all out of proportion".

The incident made national headlines and Dolan was one of two players who apologised after CCTV footage revealed what had taken place on the night after Roscommon had played Donegal in a challenge.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Roscommon People Dolan, hero of St Brigid's 2013 All-Ireland club success, also reflected on how inter-county football, he feels, has become "too serious".

"I know that if I hadn't given up the county training I would be retired a long time ago," he said.

"Club football is not as serious as the county scene, which is great. County football is far too serious now. If you are a county player now and go for a pint, you are off the panel. When we were playing for Roscommon, you could have a few pints after the game and go in and meet the supporters.

"I was talking to a man last week who never misses a Roscommon game and he told me he knows none of the Roscommon players now all because he never meets them socially, and that is sad really."

Dolan said the Derry incident was a "silly and stupid thing to do" but added that it was "harmless".

"It was only a bit of craic between ourselves. I can guarantee you that players from Kerry and Mayo and Dublin and others have done similar things and worse too, but you never hear about that," he said.

"But we got slated altogether and it was not all in the national media either. Some of the local media were very unfair on us as well and that really hurt. It is something that should not have happened but it was a joke the way it was blown up by the media.

"I went off to Australia for six months after that and when I came back the head was clear and I had a great 2003."

Dolan quit inter-county football in 2008 and says it was the best decision he made because he was able to prolong and enjoy a really fruitful club career.

He has yet to decide if he will play with St Brigid's in 2016.

Irish Independent

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