National Forum

Mark O Sullivan Ex Cork Player Interview

(Oldest Posts First)

https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-40031381.html

Very good article from a very exciting player on the cork team at the end of the 90s. Living in Boston now, really agree with his comments about how the game of gaelic football has changed so much in the last twenty years and not easy watch with the game now a fitness based game not skill.

OpenStand (Limerick) - Posts: 265 - 15/08/2020 10:46:07    2287631

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Replying To OpenStand:  "https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-40031381.html

Very good article from a very exciting player on the cork team at the end of the 90s. Living in Boston now, really agree with his comments about how the game of gaelic football has changed so much in the last twenty years and not easy watch with the game now a fitness based game not skill."
I know, imagine lads wanting to be in peak condition for their sport. What's the world coming too!

I dont know what sport he watches in Boston these days but All Irelands are still won by the most skilful teams. Current champions being a great example of that. Sounds like another standard ex player rant about how his era was the pinnacle and 'these lads today just wouldn't cut it' stuff. Yawn

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 1917 - 15/08/2020 13:46:58    2287653

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "I know, imagine lads wanting to be in peak condition for their sport. What's the world coming too!

I dont know what sport he watches in Boston these days but All Irelands are still won by the most skilful teams. Current champions being a great example of that. Sounds like another standard ex player rant about how his era was the pinnacle and 'these lads today just wouldn't cut it' stuff. Yawn"
I dont know, all the forwards in my local club twenty years ago could have kicked points from 30 or 40 yards out. Nowadays only one of them can , the other five would run a marathon for you or twenty 100m sprints but cant kick a football only handpass it.
The game has become characterless and boring. Dublin and Kerry and a few others can produce entertaining matchs but theres a heap of handpassing borefests played by fit men with very little excitement for anyone to watch bar they represent your parish . Gaelic Football is a great game to get super fit but rubbish to watch is my view.

OpenStand (Limerick) - Posts: 265 - 15/08/2020 14:58:01    2287664

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "I know, imagine lads wanting to be in peak condition for their sport. What's the world coming too!

I dont know what sport he watches in Boston these days but All Irelands are still won by the most skilful teams. Current champions being a great example of that. Sounds like another standard ex player rant about how his era was the pinnacle and 'these lads today just wouldn't cut it' stuff. Yawn"
Completely agree with you.

lilylanger (Kildare) - Posts: 461 - 15/08/2020 15:41:49    2287669

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Replying To OpenStand:  "I dont know, all the forwards in my local club twenty years ago could have kicked points from 30 or 40 yards out. Nowadays only one of them can , the other five would run a marathon for you or twenty 100m sprints but cant kick a football only handpass it.
The game has become characterless and boring. Dublin and Kerry and a few others can produce entertaining matchs but theres a heap of handpassing borefests played by fit men with very little excitement for anyone to watch bar they represent your parish . Gaelic Football is a great game to get super fit but rubbish to watch is my view."
Maybe you're own club players arent putting in the kicking practice like the old lads. My own club have several of players who can kick points from that range. I wouldnt use that as a benchmark for the entire game today. That should be done individually anyway and not necessarily as part of the team training. There's more scores to be had by playing the ball into the 21 than practicing shots from distance while under pressure. The simple fact is you are less likely to score from there so teams try to maximise scoring chances in the right areas now.

I'm not suggesting that there aren't poor tactics or game plans out there that don't make for a great spectacle. Of course there is. But there always was. Its easy to remember a few great games from the past and use that as a template for that era which is far from the truth. There were as many horrendous games back then than there is today. They just don't get highlighted anywhere near as much as today's bad ones.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 1917 - 15/08/2020 16:24:50    2287673

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Replying To OpenStand:  "https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-40031381.html

Very good article from a very exciting player on the cork team at the end of the 90s. Living in Boston now, really agree with his comments about how the game of gaelic football has changed so much in the last twenty years and not easy watch with the game now a fitness based game not skill."
Cheers Openstand. Another podcast to listen to. Looks like that one is about 2 1/2 hours long so he can explain his opinions on modern day gaelic football better than a few lines in the Examiner article. There's some poor games and some good games now but I think that players enjoyed playing football more in 1999 than nowadays with the training workload, the number of games nó do_ir-die championship, mobile phones capturing details of games and players social lives and, to some degree social media telling people what is 'entertaining' and what isn't.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 5785 - 15/08/2020 18:54:05    2287681

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Hate to be the devils advocate on this one but I agree with Mark and the Limerick man on this forum in relation to the county game. The players are bigger, fitter, stronger, faster; superior in every way to the lads of the past. They can run forever, throw weights about a gym, etc; great athletes. They train 5/6 evenings a week, play off of scripted and pre-planned moves, the kickout is basically a set piece like a rugby lineout now, they only train to score goals in 3x3m squares on the edge of the small rectangle, they largely kick their points from 20/30 metres at their preferred angle. They fistpass the ball till it is black and blue, they actively plan out how to close out games or shut down the oppostion, often with 15/20 minutes on the clock, they are afraid to tackle in case of black cards, they use the goalkeeper as a deep ball carrier to allow the other 14 players to filter into set positions from which to start meandering into an attacking move, always with an easy escape back into a defensive screen and track should the opposition "turn over" the ball, also a rugby phrase. They train often using basketball type movement to interplay with each other out of pressure areas, they train rugby league type mini matches where they invariably kick the ball away after 8/10 possessions and immediately set into defensive structures. I could go on and on but you get my point.

Where has the heart and soul gone? Its a hybrid game of many other sports. At a county level, aside from following my own county and watching provincial finals and all-Ireland matches, I can barely stomach watching most games lads. And im not proud of it.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 302 - 15/08/2020 19:05:29    2287682

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "I know, imagine lads wanting to be in peak condition for their sport. What's the world coming too!

I dont know what sport he watches in Boston these days but All Irelands are still won by the most skilful teams. Current champions being a great example of that. Sounds like another standard ex player rant about how his era was the pinnacle and 'these lads today just wouldn't cut it' stuff. Yawn"
It's funny but watching the gaa gold matches shows me how poor some of the old football was.

I've been watching matches since the 70s and I much prefer the modern games.

carlovia (None) - Posts: 1126 - 15/08/2020 21:56:57    2287695

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Replying To OpenStand:  "https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-40031381.html

Very good article from a very exciting player on the cork team at the end of the 90s. Living in Boston now, really agree with his comments about how the game of gaelic football has changed so much in the last twenty years and not easy watch with the game now a fitness based game not skill."
Players are definitely much fitter now than they were in the past, but the same is true of pretty much every single team sport in the world. However, players are also much more skilful than they were 20 years ago or before. Back then it was rare to have many players kicking scores with their weaker foot, for example. Almost any decent forward now can kick well with their weaker foot. While I wouldn't disagree that it may have been more enjoyable to play back then as the demands were less, the quality was noticeably poorer.

WanPintWin (Galway) - Posts: 781 - 16/08/2020 00:53:45    2287708

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It is a hybrid game and at the moment its not great to watch. All these young men benching and squatting serious weights which by itself is worthwhile in injury prevention but no onfield collisions. Get a proper tackle in the game, allow the man to be tackled. This over and back across the field is poison. The see a guy dawdling on the ball ,twisting and turning looking for a back pass . Let the opposition come and cut him in half with a tackle ,turn over the ball and go up the field. Id also allow the shoulder charge much more leeway. Another little one would be no free if you duck into a tackle to get a guys arm around your neck. Its ironic that the athletes are the most physical they ever have been but the physical contact is like tag rugby.

bloodyban (Limerick) - Posts: 1265 - 17/08/2020 08:36:55    2287833

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There were players as fit in the 70' and 80' and 90's as any today, but the difference now is that all players on a team are fit. There were always players who because of their genes could run all day long. The game was generally better to watch as you got great individual displays whereas nowadays you can be a great footballer without being able to get of the ground to catch a ball. There were small players who could out jump bigger players. Unfortunately the game has closely followed soccer where it is all about possession with everyone running around doing the same thing with more back/side passing that going forward. The managers now have all the control-when a team wins it is good management and when the lose it is bad players. Lying on the ground with a small hit is quite common with a lot of pulling and dragging still going unpunished with Refs unable to differentiate. Too many rule changes being made to our game most of which are not for the better, resulting in an impossible task for a Ref.

browncows (Meath) - Posts: 2160 - 17/08/2020 10:11:35    2287845

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Replying To bloodyban:  "It is a hybrid game and at the moment its not great to watch. All these young men benching and squatting serious weights which by itself is worthwhile in injury prevention but no onfield collisions. Get a proper tackle in the game, allow the man to be tackled. This over and back across the field is poison. The see a guy dawdling on the ball ,twisting and turning looking for a back pass . Let the opposition come and cut him in half with a tackle ,turn over the ball and go up the field. Id also allow the shoulder charge much more leeway. Another little one would be no free if you duck into a tackle to get a guys arm around your neck. Its ironic that the athletes are the most physical they ever have been but the physical contact is like tag rugby."
There's a lot of talk about players 'benching and squatting' massive weight and that this what training has become. Very few intercounty players are benching huge weight, none of the players from top counties anyway.
Players need to be anaerobically fit to play them modern game. Carrying unnecessary muscle is a hindrance. Look at the Dublin team, they're lean and strong and not bulky. Fenton, McCarthy, Mannion, McCaffrey, Cooper etc.
Squatting as you said, also helps with injury prevention as well as explosiveness.
Your issues seem to be mainly with how the rules are being applied, rather than anything else. The rules on the shoulder haven't actually changed. A lad who gets a shoulder into the chest or head is given a free. This was always a foul in the rule book. Shoulder to shoulder is fair. By much more leeway, what exactly do you mean?
A ref needs to know what is a foul and what isn't.

WanPintWin (Galway) - Posts: 781 - 17/08/2020 10:37:26    2287850

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In my opinion the game is way better to watch now than it was 20 years ago. You look at the old matches and you pull your hair out- your team wins the ball and your driving out of defence do you 1. Slip a simple handpass or outside of the boot bounce pass to the free man out on the wing and support them by hard running up the field or 2. Put the laces through it and drive it into the square where it will be turned over 9 times out of 10. We'll go with option 2. But its ok they'll give it straight back to us.

Leftpeg1 (Westmeath) - Posts: 14 - 17/08/2020 10:41:41    2287852

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Replying To OpenStand:  "https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-40031381.html

Very good article from a very exciting player on the cork team at the end of the 90s. Living in Boston now, really agree with his comments about how the game of gaelic football has changed so much in the last twenty years and not easy watch with the game now a fitness based game not skill."
i remember o'sullivan playing he was excellent for UCC winning sigerson in the mid 90's. I thought he flattered to deceive at inter county level and regularly disappeared in the big matches, he was not without talent though.

totalrecall (Leitrim) - Posts: 500 - 17/08/2020 16:00:00    2287918

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Replying To bloodyban:  "It is a hybrid game and at the moment its not great to watch. All these young men benching and squatting serious weights which by itself is worthwhile in injury prevention but no onfield collisions. Get a proper tackle in the game, allow the man to be tackled. This over and back across the field is poison. The see a guy dawdling on the ball ,twisting and turning looking for a back pass . Let the opposition come and cut him in half with a tackle ,turn over the ball and go up the field. Id also allow the shoulder charge much more leeway. Another little one would be no free if you duck into a tackle to get a guys arm around your neck. Its ironic that the athletes are the most physical they ever have been but the physical contact is like tag rugby."
The Shoulder is still allowed as it always was, just not into the chest or back for obvious safety reasons. Nothing wrong with shoulder to shoulder. Cutting someone in half with a tackle I think needs to be defined a bit more, inflicting deliberate damage on an opponent is boxing.

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 4364 - 17/08/2020 16:29:07    2287926

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