Oisín McConville And Martin Clarke Criticise 'Culture' Turning Off GAA Stars

Oisín McConville And Martin Clarke Criticise 'Culture' Turning Off GAA Stars

Armagh were condemned to the qualifiers last weekend by Fermanagh as their 0-12 to 0-7 loss meant Kieran McGeeney's side face a tough road to make the Super 8s. Remarkably, Armagh were unable to score from play from the 17th minute onwards with a suffocating Rory Gallagher system keeping them at bay.

Armagh lacked sufficient creativity up front to break down a well-drilled defense while the loss of Rory Grugan did not help matters. As far as BBC NI pundits Oisin McConville and Martin Clarke were concerned, the approach was indicative of a wider issue which is resulting in a certain style of player being turned off the game.

McConville: Who's going to break the line? No one has broken the line tonight. You come up and you're faced with a tackle, they just turn around and give a simple ball. That's a very easy thing to do. You are training four or five nights a week, you're going into a tackle and fisting it to somebody and then you go up and you do your drills. I mean really and truly how much training, how much tactical nouse needs to happen in order for you to do that? So I would worry more about, ok we're going to come up against defensive football everyone knows that but where is the something different?

Clarke: In my opinion, those players are the guys opting out. There's a gym culture in the GAA, there is a long, hard way to do it. These creative thinkers that want to be out there they have to conform. This is the way you have to train, this is how you play, this is what you do. It's not appealing, the likes of Jamie Clarke for example could be out there today. Stefan Campbell, I don't know the exact circumstances but there is certainly players I've talked to of that ilk and it doesn't appeal to them anymore. That's why they are not out there.

McConville: One point to back that if you are still in the game you have to conform if you are playing to a system. You have to conform. Anything outside the box is discouraged in a lot of counties. You look at Dublin, it is encouraged.


Jamie Clarke is unavailable after he moved to the United States but has played for New York while remaining a vocal supporter of Armagh on social media.

SEE ALSO: Tom Parsons Suffered 'One Of The Most Unusual And Rare Injuries In Sport'

Maurice Brosnan