Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 6°C Saturday 8 May 2021

GAA throw-in: 5 things to look out for in the National Football League this weekend

Does home advantage really matter? Emmett McNamara flags the things to keep an eye on in round four of the NFL.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Home advantage

THERE ARE SOME funny rumours doing the rounds regarding the average gate receipt from a league game, with Cork rubbishing the €75,000 suggested in the fallout from their messy spat with the GAA appeals process.

Cork, Armagh, Kildare and Monaghan all received a €5,000 slap on the wrist from the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) after altercations during rounds one and two of the league. Cork and Monaghan then appealed their fines and were hit with the loss of home advantage by the CHC.

The Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) were then asked to review Monaghan’s punishment and decided to overturn the CHC’s decision and reinstate Clones as this weekends host venue. Cork decided not to appeal the CHC decision, but must now be somewhat regretful considering Monaghan’s last gasp reprieve.

Kildare and Armagh took the hit, so are essentially paying €5000 to host their next home fixture.

We will probably need a review of legal fees with the CCCC, CHC and DRA all singing off different hymn sheets, but all counties will be hoping this weekend’s games are well attended, considering all of the money is pooled at the end anyway. It’s all very confusing, so the chances of some poor sod driving halfway across the country with the kids screaming in the back only to find that he is at the wrong venue are worryingly high. We salute you brave soldier.

Who’d be a ref?

A referee’s job is pretty hard at the best of times, but the GAA’s recent discussions with Revenue has piled yet more misery on an essential role in our games.

The Limerick County Board, last night, asked their referees, all amateurs, to submit their PPS numbers in an effort to ease growing concerns that a strike is on the cards. It is suspected that the County Board have taken matters into their own hands and will settle any Revenue issues by putting their hands in their own pocket and maintain the current rates. You have to admire their proactive approach. Expect other counties to follow suit.

The Revenue have decided to monitor all payments to referees, resulting in the GAA reducing payment. We are talking very low amounts with €50 for a championship game being touted. Surely the men in black deserve to be treated with more respect than this?

Seanie spotting

With Seanie Johnston’s transfer looking dead in the water, will we see him in Semple this weekend shouting on the Breffni? Or will he pop up in Newbridge to discuss his next move and appeal to the DRA?

McGeeney must surely be regretting getting involved in what is turning into a distracting stalemate. Would Kevin Walsh have him back? Maybe Tipp are interested in a new forward. Or Kilkenny? A slightly longer drive but he would be guaranteed first-team football.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

His season is on the verge of being over before has begun at this stage. It would be a hard slog to get back to inter-county sharpness with so little game-time under his belt. Let’s hope we get a final decision on this in the next couple of days and hopefully a talented young man can get out on a pitch.

Any pitch.

Stand to attention

Donegal county delegate Terence McGinley has branded the Donegal team as ‘disrespectful’ following their decision to link arms during Amhrán na bhFiann. He brought the issue up at their county committee meeting during the week and expects the Donegal team to act in an acceptable manner against Kerry this Sunday.

“When the national anthem is being played people should stand to attention with their hands by their sides – not behind their backs either,” McGinley said (see Donegal News). “To stand with their arms around each other, my God! What disrespect that shows to any country’s national anthem.”

My God indeed. The Tír Chonaill men are not the only team to adapt their pre-game ritual, with plenty of teams around the country relaxing their approach to our national anthem. Will other counties take note? Should we care?

Kilkenny scorelines

Spare a thought for the poor souls lining out for Kilkenny this weekend. Never before has there been so much attention paid to their fortunes, but it is hard to ignore a team who have conceded 12-69 in three games.

It was their U-21′s that caught the eye with a 50-point loss. The seniors that must be feeling really vulnerable right now what with the media reaction. How refreshing it would be to see them get a result against Limerick on Saturday? It really is a huge ask, however.

With Cavan taking a pro-active approach to restructuring their inter-county set up, it might be time for the same to be done with Kilkenny. It is a real shame considering how strong the league is starting to get. No one likes seeing a team torn asunder week in week out. Not even the opposition.

About the author:

Emmett McNamara

Read next: