Thursday 23 November 2017

Off The Ball: Betting on your own games can backfire

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness
Donegal manager Jim McGuinness

Colm Parkinson

I was interested to read about Donegal backing themselves to beat Dublin in Jim McGuinness' book 'Until Victory Always - A Memoir' .

McGuinness said: "Now, our boys had us backed to beat Dublin. We were available at 10/1. They had a few hundred euros on themselves. And we knew leaving the hotel that we were going to win."

I remember back in 2004 some Portlaoise players had bets on us to win the Leinster club championship. We were coming off two bad seasons but had a great new management and a fantastic team so we were over 20/1 to win it. I didn't bet; I was captain and was under enough pressure as it was.

We ended up winning the county final, then the Leinster final, and some of the lads collected their winnings. However, I'm sure one or two let it ride on to the All-Ireland semi and final. They would have been due a big payment but we lost the final. I'm convinced that affected their performances.

In my opinion, betting on games you're involved in isn't worth it. It has to be a distraction. With sports psychologists now playing such an important role in the game it's surprising to hear players still do it.

Irish Independent

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