Eddie Brennan has given his thoughts on the recent debate in the GAA world which has the country talking.
High profile retired stars Kieran Bergin of Tipperary and Joe Sheridan of Meath have both called out the strict regimes of inter-county setups this past week in two separate eye-opening interviews.
Bergin slammed the culture of drinking bans in the GAA while players from other sports are allowed to go out and socialise whenever they see fit. He even boldly stated that if he were 18-years-old again he would not choose to go down the route of playing hurling at a high level as a result of the strict rules and regulations put in place by managers in pursuit of glory.
Former Royals footballer Sheridan shared the same sentiment as Bergin in an interview later in the same week. He even went so far as to admit he used to “detest” going training with Meath, because the strict regime put in place had taken all the enjoyment out of playing football.
Diet, gym programmes, training, matches and recovery is all the top inter-county players appear to have time time for anymore while simultaneously attempting to balance work commitments with their hectic schedule.
Well, Kilkenny legend Brennan shared his opinion on the recent talking point when on RTÉ 2Fm’s Game On:
“The fun possibly has gone out of the game.
“There is a regime out there now which sometimes I feel is over the top and more and more lads are asking ‘what’s in it for me’?
“If you turn around and tell adults that you can’t drink for six months, then you have a problem before ever you go near kicking a football or playing hurling.
“I completely disagree with drink bans. When I played for Kilkenny, Brian (Cody) trusted us enough to have a couple of pints at a suitable time.
“I can totally understand the annoyance felt by amateur players when it comes to socialising and winding down and what they see in other sports,” he said.
If more high profile GAA stars are to come out and publicly agree with the line views of Bergin, Sheridan and Brennan on such a matter there will undoubtedly be action taken by the powers that be.
The eight-time All-Ireland winner turned Sunday Game pundit continued also to elude to a point which is fair to make. Not all top-level GAA players feel this way. A lot of players enjoy the total immersion in commitment from one end of the year to the next with a goal of attaining glory for their county, club, family and themselves.
“If you are willing to make sacrifices, to do all that training and feel there is a definite goal to aim at, no matter where you are in the pecking order, then it’s easier to put in that hard slog.”
It looks like this is a debate in the GAA world which is only beginning to gather momentum.