Thursday 22 March 2018

Magee warns of weak county wipe-out

Gaelic Games

Wicklow manager Johnny Magee
Wicklow manager Johnny Magee
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Wicklow football manager Johnny Magee has warned that unless steps are taken to narrow the gulf in standards, so-called weaker counties could be all but wiped out.

"This is a serious situation. There's a year or two to do something about it - otherwise the trend will be irreversible," he said.

The former Dublin star believes that the vast difference in resources available to strong and weaker counties is the single biggest challenge facing the inter-county game.

"Changing the championship system won't do anything for weaker counties unless they are able to compete with the stronger teams on an even footing in strength and conditioning and the other supports that the big counties like Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Donegal, Tyrone, plus a few others, enjoy," he said.

"That costs money, which the big counties are able to raise. All the weaker counties are doing their level best but how can they compete with the big boys on the pitch if they don't have the same resources off the pitch?"

He fears that players from weaker counties will seriously consider whether it's worth putting in a huge effort while being disadvantaged all the time.

"It's hard enough to compete against strong counties even if you have the same back-up but when you haven't, it's virtually impossible. How long more will players put up with that?" he said.

Magee wants the GAA to examine the resources available to all counties for the preparation of teams and, in the interests of fairness, to take steps to balance it.

"Otherwise, we're heading for a very big problem," he said.

Irish Independent

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