Monday 17 December 2018

Marc Ó Sé on why the concept of a 'GAA drinking ban' never sat well with him

Kieran Bergin and Marc Ó Sé (inset) have a similar opinion on the GAA drinking ban
Kieran Bergin and Marc Ó Sé (inset) have a similar opinion on the GAA drinking ban Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Tipperary hurler Kieran Bergin made headlines this month by heavily criticising the demands placed on inter-county stars and, in particular, the GAA drinking ban.

As the commitment levels increased over recent years alcohol consumption dropped with manager's imposing bans on their players.

"No other sport is asking you to do that. If I was 18, you want to socialise, and someone says we have a game in eight or 10 weeks, we have to get off the beer," he said.

"Sure, it's absolutely ridiculous."

Kerry legend Marc Ó Sé, writing in his column in today's Irish Mail On Sunday, spoke of how he and his teammates would join Paidí Ó Sé for pints after most games during his tenure as Kingdom boss but that changed during Jack O'Connor's reign.

Ó Sé is not a fan of the idea and believes that a balance needs to struck and a level of trust has to be developed between a coach and his players.

"I absolutely get the need to advise players on what to eat and how to refuel to ensure that your body is in the best shape to absorb the benefits of training, but the concept of a drink ban never sat well with me." he said.

"That is not in any way making light of an alcohol culture in this country, one which is not healthy, but I just never saw the point in a ban being put in place just for the sake of it.

"The reality is that if you are serious about your game you are never going to abuse yourself in that way, but going for a couple of pints with your friends is a way of unwinding.

"And if you can't control your downtime then it is easy to understand why players would begin to resent their existence.

"The bottom line is that you have to trust your players to have the same ambition and desire to get the job done, while respecting that they have lives to live.

"That is no snowflake approach, just the common sense belief that if a player is happy in his head, enjoying his life on and off the field, then he is going to be in a far better place with his game."

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