DECLAN McCOY: Circle of ‘don’t get beat’ is now complete

THE club championships are beginning to reach the business end in most counties. As with the new county format, a lot of counties have opted for group stage systems and as a result the blood and thunder has been diluted. It will no doubt return when competitions reach the knock-out phases, but the early stages […]

DECLAN McCOY: The changing club landscape

By Declan McCoy ALL around the country excitement is building as we are heading into club championship season. One thing is for sure, the landscape has changed dramatically. Traditionally the sun would be splitting the trees, lads would be scalped with a championship hair cut and the long running injuries would magically clear up for […]


HAVING watched the unbelievably exciting hurling finals on Sunday, it’s hard not to be envious of the speed and incisive transitions in those games. This is in stark contrast to the football that is currently on show. As we enter the summer months, we are beginning to see that Gaelic football is becoming more defensive […]

DECLAN McCOY: Still an imperfect system

AS I write this I have a sense of déjà vu. Another big game for Armagh and another heart-breaking penalty shoot-out defeat. I’m just back from a coffee with Aaron McKay and he was so disappointed he let me pay (again!). I would suggest the next time instead of penalties we should have a supporter […]

DECLAN McCOY: The extreme weather conundrum

I’D like to start this week by thanking my cousin, Armagh’s Aoife McCoy, for a great day at her wedding. A sprained ankle on the dance floor was my punishment for trying to act the young fella. Luckily we got a dry day for it, which has not been the case recently. Every manager and […]

DECLAN McCOY: The imitation game

GAELIC football is gradually moving towards a reset in the fundamental make up of teams. We have two points to consider in this regard. Firstly, the standard programme lays out the 15 players in the traditional structure. They consist of a ‘keeper, six defenders, two midfielders and six forwards. I can’t for the life of […]

DECLAN McCOY: That Galway-Armagh kick-out and misconceptions

By Declan McCoy I WAS fortunate enough to have been in Croke Park last year to witness one of the best games of football in years when Armagh played Galway in the All-Ireland quarter final. The game was action-packed with quality, drama and, of course, controversy. One incident that I have spoken to a lot […]

DECLAN McCOY: Sowing the seeds of future success

AS it was my father’s birthday on Sunday (happy birthday Desy), I thought I’d drag him to the Louth County final and we followed that up by watching the Down County final on television. I had also taken in the Donegal final the day before on TG4. My wife, Marie, thinks I need to take […]