Monday 20 May 2019

Pat Spillane: If someone asked me tomorrow to help out with the Kerry team, I’d be the first man in the door

Pat Spillane chatting in the Independent Tent at the Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly.
Pat Spillane chatting in the Independent Tent at the Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly.
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

Pat Spillane has admitted he would 'love' to manage the Kerry team, but that 'no-one rings' him back whenever he has volunteered to help out.

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore today, Spillane told the crowd at the Independent Talks tent that he would 'love to help out' with the Kerry U21 team.

"For three or four years I said I’d like to get involved with the Kerry U21 team," Spillane said.

"If I’m not going to be a manager I said I’d like to be a selector, I’d love to help out. I’m mad for Kerry football, I think I know a bit about football, I’d love to help out.

"But Jesus, no-one ever rings me back. And I don’t know why. There’s this thing they say, first of all if you’re giving out sometimes, which I do give out sometimes, but I give out because my heart and soul is in it."

Spillane told the crowd that he doesn’t believe GAA has become a 'different game', but instead has been 'taken over by bluffers and spoofers'.

"Nowadays when it comes to GAA, they say, 'sure you’re 62 now, the game has moved on'. If I hear this, or 'ah it’s a different game now,' I sort of say - hold on a minute. A different game? The goal posts are still in the same position. They're still the same size, they’re still the same width. The team that wins the game is still the team that scores more than the other crowd. The game hasn’t fe*kin' changed.

"I think the game has been taken over by bluffers and spoofers. I gave a talk a couple of years ago at a coaching conference, and you could see all these modern coaches, and I know they were looking at me saying 'this guy’s is a dinosaur from the past'."

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Spillane said that despite some of the new trends that have been implemented, he would still be the first one to volunteer to help out with the team should they need it.

"If some crowd do yoga, we have to do yoga. If some crowd do meditation and they won an All Ireland, we have to do it next year. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and we have imitated in Gaelic football a lot of bluffers," he said."

"But I’d love to help out, I was lucky I played football for Kerry for 17 years. I trained for 35 years, I was a chairman at my club for seven years. If anyone asked me tomorrow morning would you help out with the Kerry team, I’d be the first man in the door."

Speaking about recent photos that emerged of Sean Cavanagh with a broken nose and bruises last week, Spillane discussed violence in Irish sport, saying that respect is something that is often missing from GAA in recent times.

"I think that word that comes from rugby and from soccer refereeing as well, and is a word that is missing too often in the GAA, and that word is respect. We don’t have respect for rules, we don’t have respect for officials.

"Do we have a problem with violence? To be honest, I don’t think we have. But I think one incident of violence is one incident too many." 

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