Sunday 25 February 2018

'It's not a level playing field' - Former Offaly star defends Faithful players after 30-point hammering

Paraic Sullivan
Paraic Sullivan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Offaly star Paraic Sullivan has defended the Faithful players who were on the receiving end of a 30-point drubbing from Armagh yesterday.

Offaly were hopelessly out of their depth and were heavily beaten on a scoreline of 6-22 to 0-10 at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.

Stunned Offaly boss Pat Flanagan said: "To concede six goals and whatever amount of points is very difficult to take. It's hard to put your finger on what went wrong, we never saw this coming to be honest."

Sullivan, who played with Offaly from 2007 to 2016, took to Twitter this morning to defend the players from the backlash they have been receiving in the county since the game.

The Rhode clubman claimed that the majority of counties are being 'embarrassed' because the gap between competing counties has been widened by factors like resources, population and strategic thinking.

He also called on Offaly fan to cut their players some slack.

He released a statement on Twitter that read: “In disbelief at some of the comments regarding football results at the weekend.

“It’s alarming how many people are shocked by this. The game has changed significantly yet we still expect a competitive competition.

“It’s not a level playing field. All teams have different populations, amount of clubs, funding, amenities and previous success.

"We are nearing professional standards in regards to time spent training and workload expected from players. Because of this, the teams with the best set-up(s) will prosper. It’s just basic common sense.

“Having a professional set-up in which the players train like athletes, recover like athletes and are athletes breeds success. All the rules and parameters have changed yet people’s opinions and expectations remain the same. The game has evolved significantly in a short period and because the majority of the counties do not have the resources, funding or forward thinking, not only are they lagging behind but being embarrassed.

“It’s not the players’ fault. I can’t reiterate that enough but unless there is some way of capping the funding or implementing something so that it is somewhat even across the board, we are in danger of seriously losing some teams from competing. That is the stark reality, and it’s really sad to think that might happen.

"To our own supporters, please give the guys a break. Offaly has a population of 75,000 people and has eight senior teams. Let’s get real with our expectations. 1971, ’72 and ’81 are gone. No comparisons to today. Serves no purpose.

“Players have full-time jobs, long commutes and other commitments. Lay off!”

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