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18 GAA Managers You Want To Murder

18 GAA Managers You Want To Murder
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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1. The lad who tells you not to talk back to the referee and then gets sent to the stand

Or at least behind the fence...

His last word of advice to his players as they get ready to roar out the door is a solemn but firm request that not talk back to the ref. It'll do the team no good. Within a few minutes it becomes clear that they have exempted themselves from this warning.


2. The laps lad

He is not impressed by your modern training drills. There is no problem mentally or physically, that can't be solved by running around the pitch a few times. Used to manage Laois, Wicklow and Kildare.



3. The lad who threatens to walk away at least five times a year

Usually at a moment of high tension before a poorly attended training session. He always pulls back from the brink, somewhat sheepishly, trying to ignore the lack of outcry that greeted his original threat.

4. The lad whose only tactic is to 'hit them hard'

He tells the lads, on the eve of some big game against rivals who have often bested them, that he has devised a special plan which will help them finally get the better of their long-time tormentors. A plan that their arrogant opponents couldn't possibly anticipate.


In the clubhouse function room, he will stand in front of a rather superfluous flipchart, facing his track-suited charges who sit there drowsily sipping Mi-Wadi, and proudly unveils his ingenious, almost dastardly, plan to defeat their foes.

The masterplan on this occasion will be to 'hit them hard.'

Approximately no one pipes up, to say that this greatly resembles last year's unsuccessful strategy. But the manager has an answer for such doubters. The plan this year will be to 'hit them really hard'.



5. The lad who is really the manager no matter who the official manager is

Invariably a legendary figure, he is universally accepted as one of the club's best ever players (back in the '80s sometime). A kind of Mr. Big around the club, everyone accepts he knows the most about football.

He may have been the manager once or twice, but regardless of whether he was officially appointed manager for that year, he will wander into training. When asked to say a few words by the official manager he will talk for twice as long and give fifty times more insight.


Any positional switches or personnel changes he suggests will be accepted unthinkingly by the official manager. He does not consciously wish to usurp the manager but will end up doing so out of a mixture of habit and obligation.

For some mystifying reason, he decides to keep up the pretence that he is not actually the manager.

6. The lad who may be officially named manager but who defers to no. 5 at all times

It begins by him muttering a few words and then looking plaintively at No.5 to see whether he has anything to add. By the end of the year, he is just a glorified lift-giver.

7. The lad who comes up with excessively complicated training drills

'Right lads, the first man goes. When he gets to the second man, the second man goes but the first man gives the ball to the third man and runs to the end of the queue. Then the third man goes and gives the ball to the fifth man, not the fourth man, that's very important, remember that.

Then the fifth man passes it back to the third man who gives it to the sixth man and then runs to the end of the second man 's queue.


Then the sixth man gives a diagonal kick-pass to the fourth man who rolls it across to the seventh man who has to pick up the ball and throw it up between the eighth man and the ninth man. Whoever wins it passes it to the first man and then we do the same again. Have ye got that?


After a while I'll throw in a second ball.'


8. The lad who promises that the talented centre half forward who never trains will not get starting the next day

He never keeps this promise. This one belongs up there with 'read my lips, no new taxes' and 'the banks will not get another red cent' in the dishonesty hall of fame.

Read 20 GAA Teammates You Want To Murder

9. The lad who lies about bringing you on

At the start of the second half: 'Five minutes, you're coming on. Do a quick warm-up there'

End of the game: 'Sorry I didn't get the chance to use you there. Next day.'


10. The lad who comes up with strange analogies

Before a minor county final somewhere in the midlands - 'Lads I want you to be as tight as a fishes arse - watertight!' Cue scandalous laughter.

11. The sheep manager

A hoor for the latest trend and gimmick, he tends to take his cue from the previous year's All-Ireland champions. He arrived before the 2013 season, promising 12 defenders, punishing three hour long training sessions and spring-loaded counter-attacks.

By the time 2014 rolled around, he had unfurled a cavalier, all out attack game plan based around kick passing. Not averse to the odd dummy team - which usually serves to confuse his own team more than the opposition.


12. The lad who is obsessed with what the other team thinks of them 

'They've no respect for us, they're fucking laughing at us.'

A prominent and hugely successful Galway underage manager once overheard a backroom member of one off the big three counties telling his charges, 'it's only Galway!' This manager proceeded to roar this repeatedly into his own players' ears  for years afterwards in an effort to gee them up for the latest battle.


13. The lad who can't pass any of his players on the street without giving an impromptu team talk

It's imperative to avoid this individual. A fantastically intense man, he spends his managerial reign in permanent lecture mode.

14. The lad who only sends two word texts

The bulk of them consist of 'training off' or 'match off'.

15. The celebrity who is only managing you as part of a television programme

Is loath to bring in any far-reaching tactical innovations, preferring, wisely, to issue straightforward but bland appeals to local pride. They are big on extra-curricular activities, gathering their players together for events totally unrelated to football such as face-painting and modelling shoots. They tend to be averse to doling out vicious bollockings (with one very famous exception).


Read The Hurling snob and 19 other Irish sports fans

16. The former player who has standards none of his team can live up to

A Roy Keane-like figure, relations between him and the players usually end badly. By the end he isn't sure whether or not he despises the players more than they despise him.

17. The lad who wont let you have water till the end of the training session

This is good practice apparently


18. The lad who gleefully schedules training for Sunday morning 

A sadistic man, he takes great pleasure in enforcing the GAA's longest standing anti-drinking measure. Necessarily, he is also a big advocate of the Saturday evening Mass.



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