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'A Complete Load Of Horseshit' - Danny Hughes On The State Of Down Football

'A Complete Load Of Horseshit' - Danny Hughes On The State Of Down Football
By Gavin Cooney
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The decline of Down football is one of the most remarkable tales of modern Gaelic football. They were in an All-Ireland final seven years ago, but now, they can't win a game. That's the extraordinary reality that one of the most famous counties in the sport are facing: last year, they didn't win a game in the league or championship: meekly relegated from Division One; hammered by Monaghan in Ulster and dumped out altogether by Longford.

Now, consecutive relegations loom: they are bottom of Division Two clutching two defeats on the bounce, and all too few straws.

Off the Ball decided to take a look at the decline of one of the proudest traditions in the sport on last night's show, and there were some pretty remarkable opinions proffered by ex-Down footballer Danny Hughes.


What they found is not untypical: the institution finding too much solace in their rich history, and while indulging it, they've missed the future.

The same people are running this county for the last 20 years, and it's not working. If it was a business, then these people would have been relieved of their positions a long time ago. But it's a voluntary organisation, a great organisation, and the people involved no doubt have a love of Down, and a love of Down football, but it's just...they cannot do their jobs. That's unfortunate, but that's where we are.

The entire organisation is in a mess. Some clubs, for example, refuse to release players to development squads as they believe the standard of coaching isn't good enough, and inferior to what is on offer at club level.

Hughes used some pretty strong language to describe the current board's stasis:


The convention last year, there was a lovely couple of quips coming out of it like 'it's always darkest before the dawn'. That was one of them.

This year it's 'a rising tide lifts all boats'. So what they're doing is, before the meeting, they're googling motivational quips and they're using these things as brilliant things to put out into the media. Absolutely fantastic sayings but a complete load of horseshit and excuse my language but that's the reality. People are fed up with it.

Everybody has so much respect for what the '90s team's done and what the '60s team done and stuff like that. But slowly our legacy as a county is becoming a laughing stock.

You can make an argument that we've - and I don't want to be disrespectful to Antrim - but we're sitting round about that type of level... Division 3, Division 4 type stuff. That's where we are.

Powerful stuff. Listen to the full discussion on the Newstalk website.



See Also: "Everyone Looks At Dublin And Raises An Eyebrow When You See Their Cars"

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