Joe Brolly

JOE BOLLY: Player contracts

BEFORE the Connacht semi-final between Corofin and Ballina, an interesting thing happened. Ballina came out an hour before throw-in and started into one of those standard-form, laborious warm-ups that have become the norm. Then, about 25 minutes before throw-in, they went back inside. Finally, at twenty to two, Corofin appeared. They jogged in and out from the end line to the 21, then half pace, then three quarter pace.

Then, they kicked the ball about for a while, kicked points, a bit of goal scoring, and generally did their own thing. Then, after the anthem, while Ballina did that drill where the players all walk into a tight circle, before jumping up, turning and sprinting out in a fan tail, Corofin strolled to their positions and watched them absent mindedly, presumably wondering what the point of it was.

From the whistle, Corofin quickly went 0-5 to 0-0 up, playing spectacularly inventive football. The game was over by half time. Not for them the boring and pointless dogma that is destroying the game. Not for them the life rules that are oppressing our young men. In Corofin, you do not have to sign a behavioural contract. You do not have to solemnly swear not to have a life.

I have put together a standard form GAA contract that will save legal fees for hard pressed clubs paying outside coaching teams. The contract should be signed by all players.

Note: It is advisable to seek legal advice before signing.

Contract between X GAA club and Y player

From the period 1.12.2023 up to and including the 30.1.25 (in the event the team reaches the All-Ireland club final and a replay is required, this contract will automatically be extended to cover the day after the date of the replay to allow a post match recovery session in the pool)

1. No player in the 35 man panel shall:

l Start or continue any romantic (or unromantic) relationship

l Eat confectionary of any kind, including, but not confined to: Maltesers, Opal Fruits, Haribos, M&Ms, Fruit Pastilles, Minstrels, Polo Mints, Trebors, Milky Ways, Cadburys milk chocolate (with or without fruits and nuts), Mars Bars, Twix, Snickers (aka Marathons), double deckers, Kinder Bueno and any other chocolate or sweet.

l Enter licensed premises (even for a family meal).

l Consume alcohol, coffee, tea (except Green tea), juice, smoothies, lemonade or hot (or cold) chocolate.

l Go to the movies.

l Socialise with any person (meals with family members excepted).

l Go outside the 30mph zone of the town save for away games.

l Look at any member of the opposite sex above knee level.

l Eat anything except the daily food list which the team nutritionist posts on the app.

2. All players shall attend at the premises of Compusport at the prescribed time to have the 24 hour compusport monitor fitted under the skin by a qualified surgeon. This shall monitor all activities of each player and shall not under any circumstances be removed.

3. All instructions given by the manager, three assistant coaches, five selectors, S&C coach, life coach, three video analysts, kit men must be obeyed.

4. Any breach of any of the above provisions shall result in the player in question being tied naked to a post at the head of the town and have assorted fruit and veg thrown at them by the townspeople.

The terms of this contract shall remain confidential for a period of ten years from the date of signing hereof.

None of this is as far fetched as it sounds.

This week, a similar set of rules for the a club senior panel for the 2024 season was leaked, before being published by the Independent’s GAA journalist Michael Verney. Headed ‘The Requirements needed from all players before we sign up for 2024’ the list contains 11 rules.

These include Rule 2: No holidays during championship; Rule 3: a complete alcohol ban from June to October; Rule 6: logging of all activity on the app; Rule 8: Commitment to lead the team fundraising activity (€15k) and thereafter the Players Training Fund raising activity; Rule 10: No golf permitted from June 1st 2024.

PS For the Ballina game, Corofin’s county stars Darragh Silke and Kieran Molloy were on holiday.

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