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Remove The Rose Tinted Glasses And Enjoy The Moment.

Monday 31.01.2011
Team Talk Mag
Club


I suppose at one stage or another we have all been guilty of rose tinted glasses syndrome. Sometimes we recall our younger days and imagine that the summers were longer, the winters snowier and the football better than it is nowadays. Some of us even believe that the game we played twenty or thirty years ago was superior in skills to the modern version. You will often hear the view that there is too much hand passing, not enough high catching, too much fouling and too few players capable of kicking the ball any distance. Well over the weekend I heard a well known former county footballer say that the art of kicking long range points in Gaelic Football is has disappeared completely. While watching a game at the weekend he spoke at length about the “death of long range kicking” blaming coaches, players, managers and all involved with the promotion of the modern game.

It was quite a sweeping generalisation to make about Gaelic Football and the danger with such sweeping generalisations is that they can be quite easily disproven. Anyone who watched the game on Saturday night in Omagh would agree that the standard of the skills on display from both teams was fairly high and there were lots of good examples of the finer points of the game. High catching, good tackling and marking, excellent support play and super scores were all exhibited to a very high level and the quality of foot-passing and shooting in particular were top drawer. Tyrone defender Damian Mc Caul produced some excellent examples of distribution and those passes averaged forty to fifty yards.

I am well known for disagreeing with nearly everything this particular pundit says and I have to disagree with him totally on this one. Anyone who has watched All Ireland Gold or who may have old videos of games from the seventies and eighties, or even the early nineties, can see clearly that the skill levels back then do not compare with those of the top modern county teams. We are fortunate to be living at a time when the quality of teams on our doorstep is as good as anything on view elsewhere in the country. Our players are highly skilled, well coached and managed and in the majority of cases (another dangerous generalisation) produce top quality football. Perhaps we should focus on the positives, enjoy the moments and spend less time longing for a quality of football and entertainment that only ever existed in the mind.

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