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 […]

DECLAN McCOY: Running the rules

BEFORE I get into this week’s article, I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Armagh players and management for an amazing year. Croke Park was up there with anything I’ve witnessed and my three young children, Ethan, Cian and Odhrán, have had a brilliant first year following the Orchard men. On to the […]


WHEN you are involved in Gaelic football, or any sport for that matter, you have to contend with the fact that losing comes with the territory. This can be a difficult concept as nobody plans to lose. Hours, months and years are dedicated to winning. However, once you find that balance of not accepting defeat […]

DECLAN McCOY: Build a squad, give youth a chance

I’M a great believer in getting young players into the senior team as early as possible. There are a few reasons for this approach, some by choice and others by necessity. When a manager is trying to build a team, they should really focus on building a squad. To demonstrate this point, if you are […]

DECLAN McCOY: Be moderate with sweeper-keeper experiment

WHEN we consider the fact that Gaelic football has been played for over 130 years, it is mind boggling that tactically it’s very much in its infancy. As recently as the mid-nineties it was standard to play 15 versus 15 and the best team usually won. Then us ‘Northerner’s were blamed for bringing in the […]

DECLAN MCCOY: Selection boxes, gutters and pre-seasonitus

ALL clubs should currently be well into the dreaded pre-season. Traditionally this has been the most despised part of the year for players for three reasons. One: they have spent the previous three weeks eating selection boxes for breakfast and washing it down with Coke and Pringles. Two: January means cold weather and gutters. Three: […]