Monday 26 February 2018

'We're so sensitive within the GAA. It's actually scary' - Oisin McConville wants 'honest' punditry to continue

McConville: “It’s very difficult to know what you can say anymore.
McConville: “It’s very difficult to know what you can say anymore." Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Former Armagh star Oisin McConville believes GAA players, managers and teams can be too "sensitive" to analysis from pundits.

The Crossmaglen clubman believes analysis, good or bad, is just part of inter-county life.

"I think you've just got to call it as you see it," McConville said, as Electric Ireland called on the public to vote for their Player of the Week in the minor championships.

"If that means that you are being controversial then so be it. But you have to be honest, you have to call it as you see it.

"Does it go too far? We're very sensitive, like. We're so sensitive within the GAA. It's actually scary.

"It's very difficult to know what you can say anymore. It's gone so sterile in the analysis and yet you wouldn't think that. I do think we do get a little bit sensitive around it.

"Even going back to when I started playing, you just took it on the chin, you shut your mouth and you got on with it. You used it as fuel for the next day or whatever it is," continued the 2002 All-Ireland winner.

During his playing days, McConville felt on occasion he was getting a raw deal from 'The Sunday Game'.

However, he admits now it was closer to the truth than he liked to admit at the time.

"Colm [O'Rourke] and Pat [Spillane] made a point that I had an absolute stinker in Croke Park; the 2003 All Ireland semi-final I finished with [1-5] or something but they said I had a stinker.

"In hindsight, they weren't too far off the mark. As a player it stings but you use it and try and move on.

"I got a couple of them and at the time I wouldn't have liked it and it would have annoyed me, but I wouldn't have been commenting on it. I just would have used it to try get more out of myself in training or a match.

"This thing about us jumping on everything that's said, people are entitled to say these things."

McConville admits that he reacted to provocation early in his career but eventually learned to deal with it.

And he believes that with all the furore that has surrounded Diarmuid Connolly's 12-week ban after the Carlow game, the St Vincent's man might have learned to cope better with the attention he gets in games.

"He's probably had a couple of times he should have but I think this one is slightly different. I think this one seems to have really resonated with Dublin and with all the publicity, I think this could be his time."

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