Kevin Cassidy

KEVIN CASSIDY: Conditions were unfair on players and spectators

I WILL start off this week by congratulating Glen on a massive win which sees them into their second All-Ireland final in a row.

First of all, let me also say that I, personally, thought that the game should not have been allowed to take place.

While I fully understand the difficulty in finding an alternative date and the logistics of all of that, given the magnitude of the game I don’t think it was right to ask those players to play in those conditions.

That was their biggest game if the year and, as a team, you can prepare for all the other eventualities like losing a man and that type of thing, but you simply can’t prepare for what they faced on Sunday.

The players were the most important people, but also spare a thought for the neutral GAA fan who waited 12 months to see this replay and then to watch it like that, I just think it took away from the spectacle a little.

Glen will not care as they went out and got the job done, so, for them, it’s business as usual and fair play to them.

The game itself took a little time to catch fire which is understandable given the conditions, but towards the end we had it all.

There were great scores, some big turnovers and there was the late drama, so credit to both clubs.

I said last week whoever won that game would go on to win the title. That’s not being disrespectful to anyone but having watched all the other teams I just feel that the two teams that lined out in Newry last weekend are a step above anyone else.

For the Glen management, now their biggest task is to get these boys back down to earth now so they can go and finish the job. However, given the sort of characters in that team, I don’t think that will be too hard to do. It’s a great position to be in and I wish them all the best.

This will be a massive period now for these players. They understand the hurt they felt last year, so they will be determined not to experience that again. This game will be different this time around as they will enter the game as favourites so they will have to learn to deal with all that on top of getting ready to play this massive game.

The other big talking point last week was the eight week ban handed down to Donegal Manager Jim McGuinness.

Let me begin by saying that from a past player’s point of view, I think these types of suspensions are silly.

An eight-week suspension for playing a 17-year-old in a game of football…there are lads at 16 and 17 playing in the English Premier League for God’s sake.

I think it should be a case of, if you are good enough you are old enough. Let’s face it, no one who isn’t physically developed enough would ever survive in the county game nowadays, so they would never be picked in the first place.

I expect that Donegal will appeal the ban, but from a rules’ point of view someone had to have known that this rule was there.

Jim knows the player in question really well as he’s from his own club, so he knows exactly what age he is. Is it Jim’s job to check the rule? Should the county board have brought it to Jim’s attention? Somewhere along the line someone messed up.

If the ban stands it’s not the end of the world as most of what Jim wants to do anyway will be done on the training pitch, so it’s a good job we built that fence!

The games will show and in reality there is very little coaching you can do when they game starts anyway so like I said it’s not the end of the world but lessons will have to be learned

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW