Niall Moyna: ‘You couldn’t pay me to go and watch a game of football’

Niall Moyna: ‘You couldn’t pay me to go and watch a game of football’

Professor Niall Moyna, part of Dublin’s backroom team for their 2011 All-Ireland triumph, has fallen out of love with Gaelic football.

The Monaghan man guided DCU to four Sigerson Cup titles but admitted, “You couldn’t pay me to go and watch a game of football” now.

The fitness expert said the game has become too negative and boring, is swiftly moving towards semi-professionalism and admitted if he was young again he’d take up hurling instead.

“I went to four games this year; the All-Ireland final and three Scotstown games,” said Moyna, a fitness adviser in 2011 when Pat Gilroy guided Dublin to their first All-Ireland in 16 years. “I couldn’t watch it and Sigerson became like that. It became 14 behind the ball where Sigerson had been the one where it was man against man.”

Moyna revealed his fears about the game moving towards semi-professionalism as club activity is sidelined to allow for the inter-county game to dominate.

“April (for clubs only) hasn’t been a success at all, and I know they are trying but I think that horse has bolted,” said Moyna. “My concern is that the GAA is heading down the road of semi-professionalism and I think that horse bolted eight years ago.”

Moyna predicted that top players, currently torn between representing various club and county teams, may soon enjoy a more balanced existence.

“It’s going to be fixed because all the players are going to be with county teams,” he said. “That includes college teams. The death knell is on its way. This is my first year out of Sigerson, I pulled out. I couldn’t take it anymore. You just can’t get access to players. They are now being indentured to county teams and the clubs, who I believe should be deciding when they are released, have lost their power.

“We have it the wrong way around, the counties decide when they get the club players. The GAA, in a way, over the last decade, has lost the run of itself. It became totally consumed with generating revenue to the detriment of club football and that can only be sustained for so long.

“Where are the future generations of club players going to come from if clubs say, well, if we are going to develop a young player and we are relatively weak as a club, and this (player) is the key cog in our team, and he or she is gone for six to eight months of the year?”

- Following September’s introduction of PE as a Leaving Certificate examination subject, the GAA has launched a new online learning portal GAA LCPE, featuring a bespoke learning network to support the course.

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