Tuesday 23 July 2019

'It's an absolute disgrace' - Eugene McGee claims inter-county managers have the GAA 'by the throat'

Eugene McGee
Eugene McGee
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former All-Ireland winning manager Eugene McGee has described the influence that inter-county managers exert as 'an absolute disgrace'.

McGee took aim at the reaction of managers to the handpass rule that was axed from the league by the GAA's Central Council last weekend despite statistical evidence that it was achieving its aim of increasing kickpassing.

McGee, who famously led Offaly to win the Sam Maguire in 1982, chaired the committee that introduced the black card in 2014.

He referenced a qualifier game between Kildare and Cork in 2016 and the fact that he counted the Lilywhites executing 28 handpasses in a row and admitted that he was 'depressed' with the current state of the game.

Speaking on RTE Radio, he said: "I'm very depressed, I only watched I think three matches last year, I can't watch this stuff.

"It's the least skill in gaelic football that predominates in the sport now. That's an important statement to make.

"The competitive personal contests that we used to have; jumping for the ball and all that sort of stuff, that's gone.

"All the more difficult skills are removed and you're left with handpassing."

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He feels that managers are dictating to the GAA after the trial of limiting players to three consecutive handpasses was abandoned.

"The managers have the GAA by the throat, it's as simple as that," he added.

"Do you know that the manager, his title in 'bainisteoir', right? We all see that on the television. In the GAA rulebook, and I'll tell you it's a long rulebook, it's going back 100 years, it might be from here to the end of the corridor, there is no mention of the word 'bainisteoir'  or 'manager' in the whole GAA rulebook.

"In other words, he an anonymous person. They're the people with all the power.

"When I was involved in football, I'd make contact with another team for a challenge or something and it would be the chairman or the secretary of the county board (I'd call) - now I don't know any chairman of secretary, you go to the manager and he'll decide.

"Did you see the thing in Tipperary where the manager wants to impose an embargo on players speaking? We saw that last week.

"The managers have absolutely complete control of every player in Ireland. It's an absolute disgrace."

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