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Tomás O'Sé's Delightful Páidí Tale Proof Of How Much Football Has Changed

Tomás O'Sé's Delightful Páidí Tale Proof Of How Much Football Has Changed
Gavin Cooney
By Gavin Cooney
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Speaking on Off the Ball earlier this week, Marc O'Sé was asked what the future held for him, as he confronted the divergent paths most retired footballers face: coaching or punditry. O'Sé said he would keep his options open, but did admit that his elder brother Tomás has annexed The Sunday Game punditry role.

Tomás has followed this endorsement from his younger brother by writing a wonderful column in this morning's Irish Independent. (The column has yet to posted on the Indo's website, we'll update this once they do).

The main thrust of the column this morning is that the whinging about Dublin's financial superiority should end: it's something they've enjoyed for decades, and it hasn't stopped other counties from winning All-Irelands in the past.


Whether or not you agree with O'Sé's point of view - there is evidence to say that Dublin's financial superiority is stronger than ever - his column is is hugely enjoyable nonetheless.

It opens with a wonderful yarn about Páidí, a story that is nigh-impossible to read without a smile breaking out across your face. Here it is:

When my uncle, Páidí was a garda stationed in Limerick, the Kerry County Board used pay for him to have a steak three times a week.

A simple arrangement. The few bob handed across at training with the blunt proviso "Get the good stuff into you this week, Páidí, no garbage!" We're talking about the seventies here, an era that in some eyes seemed to amount to little more than a time of footballers running laps and sculling pints.

You'd think the game had no personal relationship with personal responsibility, that the heroes of the time lived some kind of Brendan Behan existence, their talent straining desperately to survive the severity of their hectic social lives.

The truth is that Kerry and Dublin stretched far away from the rest of football in that era by coming to roughly the same conclusion. Mick O'Dwyer and Kevin Heffernan both deduced that a good, fit team would always get the better og a good, half-fit team. So they got their players to train accordingly.

O'Sé makes the point that Páidí's steaks in the seventies is no different to the Kerry county board laying on post-training buffets for the players now: that what Dublin are doing now, with their enormous backroom staff and extensive dietary plans, is just the next, logical step in what they've been doing all along.


The more things change in the GAA, the more they stay the same.

[Irish Independent]

See Also: Tyrone Footballer Opens Up On IRA Death Threats

See Also: 9 Clubs Teams You'll Find In Nearly Every County In The Country



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