Coaching event to discuss proposals
The GAA announced details yesterday of their 10th annual games development conference entitled, “Coaching adults: more than the sum of our parts,” which takes place in Croke Park on January 12th.
Perhaps the most interesting event on the day will be a panel discussion on the recommendations of the Football Review Committee (FRC), which is being chaired by the 1982 All-Ireland winning Offaly football manager Eugene McGee.
McGee will be joined by former Dublin football manager Pat Gilroy, Longford manager Glenn Ryan and the Kerry women’s football manager William O’Sullivan.
The FRC’s white paper is to be released early next month, with several recommendations in it to become motions to Congress for playing and structural rule changes.
“Never has any sport had as in-depth an investigation of the game,” said GAA president Liam O’Neill. “They have spoken to thousands of people, they have taken thousands of submissions and everybody on that particular committee is an expert in his own right so I’m expecting the proposals will be firm and we will debate them.
“I’ve given a commitment that what they come up with we will not be altered in any way. We’ll put it out for a debate immediately . . .”
Other members of the committee are Killian Burns (Kerry), Paul Earley (Roscommon), Tim Healy (Cork), Ciarán McBride (Tyrone), John Tobin (Galway), Tony Scullion (Derry) and Declan Darcy, who played football for Leitrim and Dublin.
The FRC have received over 3,000 replies to an online questionnaire, with over 80 per cent of these seeking change to either the rules of Gaelic football or the championship structures.
“I’d like to see cynicism eradicated,” O’Neill continued. “I’d like to see the ball in play more often, I’d like to see the skilful player all the time. I’d like the skilful player to win out. I want the game to be an attacking game where people will score often. Crowds come to see scores. And we want to see more scores and a better standard of attacking football and hurling.”
The association has also invited two well-known Irish sportsmen from outside Gaelic games to address the conference. Jim Bolger, the racehorse trainer and breeder, will provide a talk entitled “Lessons from the track”, while Ireland’s Olympic boxing coach Billy Walsh will be the last of five keynote speakers.
There will also be physiotherapy experts dealing with injury prevention and a case study on what can be learnt from the phenomenal success of Crossmaglen Rangers, presented by their chairman Tony Brady.