Shane Curran wants GAA transfer market to stop counties 'giving up the ghost'

Former Roscommon captain Shane Curran has urged the GAA to strongly consider an inter-county transfer market or 'draft system', citing the success of Shea Fahy and Larry Tompkins with Cork in the past
Shane Curran wants GAA transfer market to stop counties 'giving up the ghost'

Shane Curran: 'We have to readjust the competitive landscape or else, and I've said this before and got a lot of stick for it, the GAA will be like the Catholic church and Fianna Fail — they'll fail the people eventually and will have no followers.' Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Former Roscommon captain Shane Curran has urged the GAA to strongly consider an inter-county transfer market or 'draft system', citing the success of Shea Fahy and Larry Tompkins with Cork in the past.

Ex-goalkeeper and 2019 Roscommon U-20 manager Curran also pointed to the more recent success of Kerryman Conor Cox with the Rossies seniors.

Former Kerry forward Cox was unwanted in the Kingdom so joined Roscommon and earned an All-Star nomination after a brilliant debut campaign that yielded Connacht SFC honours.

Curran told Mick and Mc's GAA Football Podcast that the rules should be relaxed to allow this to happen on a wider scale, arguing that the recruits could then 'become part of the community' locally.

Curran said he'd personally have no problem with Roscommon luring top midfielders like Dublin's Brian Fenton or Meath's Bryan Menton to play for them.

"Are we at a stage where we have to have a debate about maybe a draft system in the GAA? Are we at a stage where counties who openly go out and attract players into their communities and into their counties can freely do so?" asked Curran.

"Cork got Shea Fahy and Larry Tompkins and they won two All-Irelands and fair play to them. 

"For example, if Brian Fenton and Bryan Menton were to come and somebody was prepared to pay €100,000 of a transfer fee for each, I'd take them in the morning.

"Bryan Menton plays midfield for Meath and has got St Brigid's connections, that's the type of thing I'm talking about. If counties like Roscommon want to win an All-Ireland in my lifetime, these are the type of things we've got to think about.

"I'd love a generation of people to see Roscommon win an All-Ireland, or any other county that has got that ambition and shows that ambition, and I think it can be done."

Curran said claims that a wider movement of players would erode community spirit and traditional GAA values is 'bulls***'.

"When we won the club All-Ireland with St Brigid's in 2013, we had only four people who had a mammy or a daddy from the area on that team," said Curran. 

"Think about that, and we're in a small pocket in south Roscommon. So there was an awful lot of movement of those people around to make that team."

He also noted that Danny Murphy, 'the greatest football that ever played for Roscommon, is from Longford'.

Curran feels that if things are left as they are then counties and the GAA as a whole will inevitably suffer.

"If you look at the Leinster championship at the moment, it's a fair probability and a valid point to make that a lot of counties have just given up, they've given up the ghost," he said.

"Then they haven't been supported to get any better because the county boards don't have the funding. 

"We have to readjust the competitive landscape or else, and I've said this before and got a lot of stick for it, the GAA will be like the Catholic church and Fianna Fail — they'll fail the people eventually and will have no followers.

"You think that can't happen, just look at Meath now as an example. How many people in Meath actually support Meath? 

"There's more people in Meath that support Dublin than actually support Meath. 

"There's more people in Dublin now that support Dublin but don't support the local club structure. That's not sustainable."

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