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Player Opt Outs For 2020 Inter County Season

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "Yeah it would be fantastic to see Odhran back in a Donegal jersey. We're not too badly off in the forward ranks as we are, but Odhran brings bit of X-factor to things. He is a superb fielder of a ball, can see passes that few others can and as we all know has a wand of a left foot.

I'm like you however in that my hunch is he won't be back. I see he's playing a bit of soccer for Gweedore Celtic and no doubt Gaoth Dobhair will feel they can strongly challenge for Donegal and Ulster club in 2020. His final decision should be respected but as Donegal fans, and simply football fans in general it will be disappointing not to see his class on display on a national level.

We can but hope."
Same sentiments here including the gut feeling unfortunately. The fact that after taking last season out we are told 'should know soon' tells me management are probably on a convincing mission. Out of respect Odhran is probably giving it a 'think' out of respect but when a player takes that time off and still not forthcoming commitment wise tells its on story. Fantastic player and be thrilled if he did commit but personally very much doubt it. An awful waste in my opinion but lucky that Donegal have lots of talent available unlike some less fortunate counties who don't have the same talent resources to replace.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2184 - 21/11/2019 17:30:25    2250731

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This thread and website is all about too much info about players personal lives. Look at Danny Cummins, who cares if he goes to Vietnam and Australia with his partner. Really?? let them go, the GAA has no reason to be in their business.

suckvalleypaddy (Galway) - Posts: 1301 - 21/11/2019 21:28:20    2250771

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Between Dublin's dominance, Super 8s and a rushed, under prepared introduction of a tiered championship I honestly think the average county player will become even more disillusioned with life at that level. Especially those who play for decent club teams within their counties. Why train like a pro all year to get very little back? If a players ops off the county panel and focused on his club side there would be a far less hectic life schedule to follow and the chances of success are usually a lot more evenly balanced at club level. I am speaking generally of course, but for most county players in Ireland the commitment required of them just doesn't seem worthwhile for what they get in return.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 1798 - 22/11/2019 11:40:59    2250836

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I think that something maybe a lot of people don't realize is players have a love of what they do at county level, even if there is no tangible reward at the end in terms of silverware. Now don't get me wrong, they're all competitive men who love winning. But the idea that it's all solely for winning titles is a misconception I feel.

Part of it is the lifestyle. For example, to the casual supporter the idea of training 6 times a week, weights, diet etc is a horrible thought. But for those in that bubble, it's something they enjoy doing. The journey, the hard yards or whatever you want to call it builds camaraderie and a sense of purpose. Plus, the sense of well being that you've pushed yourself physically so that you're in the shape of your life can't really be quantified but is very significant.

I think that's why some players are so against tier 2 or B championships at county level. The fact that they've busted themselves physically only to be told that they're not eligible for competing with the big teams rankles.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6575 - 22/11/2019 16:28:21    2250898

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I think that something maybe a lot of people don't realize is players have a love of what they do at county level, even if there is no tangible reward at the end in terms of silverware. Now don't get me wrong, they're all competitive men who love winning. But the idea that it's all solely for winning titles is a misconception I feel.

Part of it is the lifestyle. For example, to the casual supporter the idea of training 6 times a week, weights, diet etc is a horrible thought. But for those in that bubble, it's something they enjoy doing. The journey, the hard yards or whatever you want to call it builds camaraderie and a sense of purpose. Plus, the sense of well being that you've pushed yourself physically so that you're in the shape of your life can't really be quantified but is very significant.

I think that's why some players are so against tier 2 or B championships at county level. The fact that they've busted themselves physically only to be told that they're not eligible for competing with the big teams rankles."
Maybe in Donegal a few years after an AI was won but I can assure you the vibe looks very different in Antrim. 18 players walked from the panel in 2019. Already ahead of next season our two top scorers from this year have opted out. I know lads with the mindset you described there and they want nothing to do with the county setup at present. Some clubs in Antrim have a more professional setup and outlook than our county team and its the club or soccer these lads seem to turn to more often for that sense of purpose. I think the notion that you can win a county title and then your only 2 or 3 games from winning a provincial championship against teams who are a lot less formidable than Dublin or Kerry gives that type of character a realistic aim in a well renowned competition.

I agree with your point on the tiered championship. The Super 8s are designed for the counties who have the big talent pools to choose from. This new tiered system that is in place for next season will mean that Antrim will have to compete against 9 counties and get to the Ulster final in order to be involved in the AI. The hurling equivalent tiers and the Tommy Murphy cup failures have put the writing on the wall for this latest addition and already the lack of enthusiasm for it is evident. It has been rushed and given no real promotion. It will simply exist just like the McDonagh cup etc without any real effort to improve smaller counties and if anything it will alienate even more players than before.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 1798 - 22/11/2019 18:37:49    2250920

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "Between Dublin's dominance, Super 8s and a rushed, under prepared introduction of a tiered championship I honestly think the average county player will become even more disillusioned with life at that level. Especially those who play for decent club teams within their counties. Why train like a pro all year to get very little back? If a players ops off the county panel and focused on his club side there would be a far less hectic life schedule to follow and the chances of success are usually a lot more evenly balanced at club level. I am speaking generally of course, but for most county players in Ireland the commitment required of them just doesn't seem worthwhile for what they get in return."
At inter-county level Dublin are very dominant and most counties have no prospect of winning an All-Ireland title but we find a similar situation at club level in many counties. This has been the case for as long as I can remember. It's not uncommon to read of players who amassed anything up to ten or more county titles during their playing career. This, of course, that in many counties most club players will go through their whole playing career without ever winning a county title.

neverright (Roscommon) - Posts: 1613 - 22/11/2019 18:54:26    2250924

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "Maybe in Donegal a few years after an AI was won but I can assure you the vibe looks very different in Antrim. 18 players walked from the panel in 2019. Already ahead of next season our two top scorers from this year have opted out. I know lads with the mindset you described there and they want nothing to do with the county setup at present. Some clubs in Antrim have a more professional setup and outlook than our county team and its the club or soccer these lads seem to turn to more often for that sense of purpose. I think the notion that you can win a county title and then your only 2 or 3 games from winning a provincial championship against teams who are a lot less formidable than Dublin or Kerry gives that type of character a realistic aim in a well renowned competition.

I agree with your point on the tiered championship. The Super 8s are designed for the counties who have the big talent pools to choose from. This new tiered system that is in place for next season will mean that Antrim will have to compete against 9 counties and get to the Ulster final in order to be involved in the AI. The hurling equivalent tiers and the Tommy Murphy cup failures have put the writing on the wall for this latest addition and already the lack of enthusiasm for it is evident. It has been rushed and given no real promotion. It will simply exist just like the McDonagh cup etc without any real effort to improve smaller counties and if anything it will alienate even more players than before."
Yeah I always found it bizarre how Antrim do not do better than they do. I know they are a dual county but over the years there always seems to be an issue with certain players not committing for one reason or another. Perhaps it was no coincidence that it took an outsider like Baker Bradley to get everyone rowing in the same direction back in 09?

Also the ongoing saga with Casement is a joke at this stage.

I don't know the ins and outs of Antrim GAA obviously, but do you think if there was a complete overhaul at county board level there would be positive change? It seems to be getting worse when you see players like Fitzpatrick walking away. He is without doubt one of the finest players in Ulster.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6575 - 22/11/2019 21:54:53    2250946

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "Yeah I always found it bizarre how Antrim do not do better than they do. I know they are a dual county but over the years there always seems to be an issue with certain players not committing for one reason or another. Perhaps it was no coincidence that it took an outsider like Baker Bradley to get everyone rowing in the same direction back in 09?

Also the ongoing saga with Casement is a joke at this stage.

I don't know the ins and outs of Antrim GAA obviously, but do you think if there was a complete overhaul at county board level there would be positive change? It seems to be getting worse when you see players like Fitzpatrick walking away. He is without doubt one of the finest players in Ulster."
You're spot about the outside influence being a positive for the county setup. I'd say Baker came at the right time for a young side that had good experience at schools and Sigerson level and he helped give them confidence and belief which took us to an Ulster final and also ran teams like Kerry, Tyrone and Kildare very close. We had a home ground fit for purpose and a chance to build. But when Baker's message/tactics etc began to wear off the county board decided to go back to hiring managers from within. We never really got going again. Then the Casement saga began. The board didn't pursue the likes of Pete McGrath, he went to Fermanagh and brought them to an AI quarter final with a much smaller platform. Enough said there.

We've had a few chairmen change hands but a complete overhaul we have not had. Some of the same faces seem to hold onto their jobs and some of them haven't a scooby what they're at. Maybe if Croke park took the reigns a bit and helped to source the right type of person for the job we might be able to lay solid plans and actually live up to them for once. I know a lot of this stuff is done internally by clubs voting etc but at least help the people who are elected a bit more than they do at present.

Fitz is a very talented forward who would walk into any side in Ulster. He gave his all the last few seasons with the county and probably kept us from losing by an extra 5 or 6 points per match. But how long can you keep training as heavily as a Dublin or Kerry player and watch your bare bones squad get blitzed in Ulster by stronger teams? He's just signed for Coleraine. They are 2nd in the league which gives him something to really challenge for. It's a real shame because I know his favourite sport is gaelic football but that's the reality of Antrim football now.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 1798 - 23/11/2019 09:55:34    2250972

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Replying To neverright:  "At inter-county level Dublin are very dominant and most counties have no prospect of winning an All-Ireland title but we find a similar situation at club level in many counties. This has been the case for as long as I can remember. It's not uncommon to read of players who amassed anything up to ten or more county titles during their playing career. This, of course, that in many counties most club players will go through their whole playing career without ever winning a county title."
Have there been many lads opting off the panel the last few years in Roscommon NR? 2017 was a decent year for your county. A few big days at Croker etc along with division one matches and that. I guess there was optimism they could push on to win more at provincial level at least. I suppose if your local club scene is as lopsided as the current AI championship players will aspire more towards the county panel.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 1798 - 23/11/2019 13:41:06    2250988

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We lost mc inerney compton and ciaran murtagh last year
Mc inerney is back compton has indicated he is returning, ciaran murtagh and diarmiuid murtagh taking year out 2020.
We've also lost the 3 dalys at different points in last few years Neil collins as well as lads retired relatively young 2 shines, senan Kilbride, kevin higgins

OhtobeARossie (Roscommon) - Posts: 1368 - 23/11/2019 16:04:31    2251000

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I think that something maybe a lot of people don't realize is players have a love of what they do at county level, even if there is no tangible reward at the end in terms of silverware. Now don't get me wrong, they're all competitive men who love winning. But the idea that it's all solely for winning titles is a misconception I feel.

Part of it is the lifestyle. For example, to the casual supporter the idea of training 6 times a week, weights, diet etc is a horrible thought. But for those in that bubble, it's something they enjoy doing. The journey, the hard yards or whatever you want to call it builds camaraderie and a sense of purpose. Plus, the sense of well being that you've pushed yourself physically so that you're in the shape of your life can't really be quantified but is very significant.

I think that's why some players are so against tier 2 or B championships at county level. The fact that they've busted themselves physically only to be told that they're not eligible for competing with the big teams rankles."
Great post. Wasn't it none other than Mick O'Connell who said that the sensation of being match fit was one of his favourite things about his playing days. I mean, he could have referred to his many successes, but even for a legend like him, that feeling of being in the shape of your life was treasured

essmac (Tyrone) - Posts: 607 - 24/11/2019 00:10:20    2251063

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Replying To essmac:  "Great post. Wasn't it none other than Mick O'Connell who said that the sensation of being match fit was one of his favourite things about his playing days. I mean, he could have referred to his many successes, but even for a legend like him, that feeling of being in the shape of your life was treasured"
Yeah that's what I was getting at.
I never got near a senior county squad in my playing days. But I remember one year I ran a marathon I got myself into great shape for it. My friends thought I was mad heading away on my own on a Sunday morning for the long runs necessary in preparation. I'd also have put in a fair few miles during the week. People who just see the physical benefit, e.g. weight loss, muscle toning etc don't see the full picture.

The mind is clearer, sleep is better, diet is better and even things like productivity at work improves. All because everything that goes into your sense of well being is being catered for.

For county players I'd imagine it's even better. You're in the shape of your life playing the game you love. The league is there for competition against teams of a similar level. Championship gives teams a chance to get a good crack at teams above them in the pecking order. Now 9 times out of 10 the favourites emerge unscathed. But ask anyone who has played the game, even if you don't win silverware, is there anything better than the post match feeling of a tight Championship win?

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6575 - 24/11/2019 12:13:42    2251090

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They could make a decent 15 out of the players who have opted out..

Full forward line

13. D Murtagh 14. M Quinlivan. 15 C McAliskey

12 D Cummins . 11. C Murtagh. 10 D McVeety

9. Gary Brennan

8 Jamie Malone

Full in the backs

FoolsGold (Cavan) - Posts: 1872 - 24/11/2019 13:46:01    2251103

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Replying To DundalkGael:  "Hearing 5 or 6 players from Louths squad have not or wont be returning.

Could you blame them?

They will now get 10 games with their clubs in April and May and then about 5 games (depending on how far they go in Champ) from July-Sept

GAA is great"
Dara McVitty will be back with Cavan before the end of the league.

RHF (Cavan) - Posts: 585 - 24/11/2019 20:11:52    2251173

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Replying To FoolsGold:  "They could make a decent 15 out of the players who have opted out..

Full forward line

13. D Murtagh 14. M Quinlivan. 15 C McAliskey

12 D Cummins . 11. C Murtagh. 10 D McVeety

9. Gary Brennan

8 Jamie Malone

Full in the backs"
O malley our goalkeeper in with a shout for keeper think he scored 2 or 3 points in connacht final win off top of the head.
Neil collins in full back line to.

OhtobeARossie (Roscommon) - Posts: 1368 - 24/11/2019 22:34:34    2251210

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Replying To essmac:  "Great post. Wasn't it none other than Mick O'Connell who said that the sensation of being match fit was one of his favourite things about his playing days. I mean, he could have referred to his many successes, but even for a legend like him, that feeling of being in the shape of your life was treasured"
Great post & something that escapes most. I hadn't realized how much I missed that feeling of being in 'peak' condition having done everything in that area to prepare. It's nearly s if you need someone to hold you back from whatever event you're participating in. But big envelopes are sometimes needed, not wanted & I wouldn't say a bad thing about anyone who comes to play. Just wish there were more pitches close by.

Gowran_Yank (Kilkenny) - Posts: 83 - 08/12/2019 11:58:21    2253790

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There are many reasons why players opt out. Over played, trying to make a career, travel etc. Shane Bennett one of the finest prospects opted out last year and says he does not have the appetite for it this year either. He just turned 23 this week. Played senior when he was minor. Winner of AllIreland medals at under age. Got picked up outside his school the day of his Leaving Cert and drove straight to the Munster Championship game by his mum. Scored 2-4 that evening on the way to the All Ireland win. However how much of a toll did this take on him. In one particular big game for the senior team it was obvious he was get the stick from an experienced defender. He should not have been exposed to this. When a prospect comes a long in Waterford they are fast tracked too quick and end up with burn out. Shane has seen his brother Stephen having hip surgery several times before he was 21.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 652 - 09/12/2019 21:50:24    2254025

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The few I have heard :

Diarmuid Murtagh Roscommon
Ciaran Murtagh Roscommon
Graham reilly meath
Nigel Dunne Offaly
Jamie Malone Clare
Gary Brennan Clare
Donie Kingston laois
Paul Kingston laois
Any Mcdonnel louth
Fitzpatrick ? antrim

Probably loads more

KINGS2004 (Westmeath) - Posts: 1 - 10/12/2019 11:26:10    2254073

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Sean Donoghue-Clare
Mickey Burke-Meath
Conor McAliskey-Tyrone
Conor Moynagh-Cavan
Darragh McVitty-Cavan
Emlyn Mulligan-Leitrim

hamsterdean (Limerick) - Posts: 51 - 10/12/2019 21:36:50    2254208

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Lavin
O malley
Colin Compton
Fintan cregg retired
Roscommon.

OhtobeARossie (Roscommon) - Posts: 1368 - 10/12/2019 22:17:37    2254216

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