Fearing for Gaelic Football-if this is Gaelic football, you can keep it

I watched the provincial finals at the weekend, as I have done since I was a boy.

I was sickened to see the way the Leinster final went with Dublin running past the Kildare defence to plant the ball in the net 5 times in the first half. As a Kildare GAA supporter for many years, I have watched Leinster finals with a mix of fear, excitement, and trepidation.

This final was as bad as it gets for the match was over after 15 minutes. Kildare had some little hope going into this match given they had a good National League campaign in division one. But that didn’t last long with the Dubs going for the jugular from early on. Which is as it should be in top, competitive sport.

However, when I watched what passed for football in the Ulster final one day later, between Donegal and Derry, I would still prefer to see Kildare beaten provided we were served up the type of positive football exhibited by Dublin and Kildare.

Not the sterile, fear filled pseudo basketball that Donegal and Derry served up for normal extra time in an Ulster final that should see ticket money returned to patrons on the basis of misdescription on the tickets.

If this is modern Gaelic football, you can keep it.

Fifteen men behind the ball, planted in their own half of the field when possession was lost to the opposition.

Handpassing/throwing the ball in semi circles of doom in front of the 45-metre line close to the middle of the pitch, passing back from the corner forward position to the goalkeeper, Michael Murphy strolling around behind his own midfielders executing 5 yard handpasses to colleagues.

Desperate stuff.

Children, the future of the game, will be attracted to other sports that allow them to express themselves and have a go, take a chance, engage in risks that they cannot do in their everyday life.

We need Dublin or Kerry to show how football can be played without fear, with abandon, with positivity and skill and passion.

Not this sterile derivative, hybrid game that is unrecognisable from the game that it can be.

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