Thursday 18 January 2018

Managers playing tedious games with line-ups

Donegal's Colm McFadden
Donegal's Colm McFadden
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

That didn't take long, now did it?

Neither Donegal nor Tyrone fielded their announced teams last Sunday, the former making one change, the latter two.

Tyrone's two 'springers' were U-21s Rory Brennan and Cathal McShane, while Donegal's non-starter was another U-21, Hugh McFadden, who was replaced by Colm McFadden.

Whether Tyrone ever believed that the McFadden they would face answered to Hugh rather than Colm is highly unlikely, no more than it would have made any difference to Donegal if they knew that two U-21s would start in the Tyrone forward line.

Trick-acting with line-ups has unfortunately become the fashion among many - although not all - GAA managers in recent years, as if it represents the ultimate in sophisticated planning.

In fact, it's no more than a tedious irritant for supporters, who no longer believe that published teams will line out as selected.

We're led to believe that modern preparation is all about micro-managing everything down to the last detail, so it no longer comes as a surprise when late team changes are made.

Up to last year, that was allowed until the throw-in, often leading to incorrect teams being announced over the PA in another insult to the public.

Now, the starting 15 must be submitted to the referee no later than 20 minutes before the start.

Truly, you wonder if some managers would prefer to have all games played behind closed doors.

Irish Independent

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