Paul Geaney determined to change the record on Dublin domination

Three-week-old Páidí joined his parents Paul Geaney and Siún Ó Sé in Dublin yesterday at the launch of her Siún’s famous late father’s annual club football tournament.

As a January baby, Páidí’s GAA timing was impeccable.

Hectic times for the family, and Geaney in particular, who this weekend will make a close to 14-hour return commute from Dingle for Sunday’s Allianz Division 1 opener against Donegal in Letterkenny.

After successfully recovering from his back injuries last spring to claim an All-Star, he wants to carry on where he left off.

“Our season was a lot shorter last year and fellas were fresher easier, and we had an extra month to be thinking about it, and in the winter that’s not a great thing. Without the injuries, we had a chance to hit the ground running.”

Working in the family pub, Geaney has been offered as much opportunity to talk as think of last season. 

Naturally, in a tourist town Dublin features prominently from across the counter but then the locals are as interested in the reigning back-to-back All-Ireland champions.

Kerry star Paul Geaney at Dingle Marina announcing details of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2017, which takes place February 17-19 in Ventry and various GAA venues across West Kerry. Full details of matches and festivities are on www.paidiose.com

Geaney was a starter the only time Kerry have beaten Dublin in their seven meetings in the Eamonn Fitzmaurice/Jim Gavin era — Killarney, March 2015. 

“If people are talking about GAA at the moment, it’s Dublin who they are talking about. If they are talking about football, it’s Dublin. Dublin are obviously the best team in the country. They are going for five-in-a-row in the league, which is astonishing as well. 

"Until somebody else changes the conversation, until we change the conversation or Tyrone or Mayo or somebody else changes the conversation, then we are going to be talking about Dublin.”

The establishment of the Club Players Association is another hot topic. As a club player, Geaney knows the plight but appreciates how more difficult it is for his non-county team-mates. 

It brings him back to how Dingle were discommoded by the Munster final replay two years ago. 

“There wasn’t a back up of a county league (game) and there was nothing on for two months afterwards, bar a couple of league games, which is very unfair on fellas who had planned their holidays around it.” 

At the same time, he has mixed views on the new Division 1 format, which has removed semi-finals this year — the top two compete in the final. 

“Depending on how things pan out early in the league, it might make the second half of the league a dead duck, because teams don’t have a semi-final to make and it might take the sting out of some games. It might be all down to relegation side of things, rather than something positive to be gained out of the year.”

The semi-finals, the 26-year-old says, at least extended the competition.

Should Kerry not reach the final for a second successive year, they will have a 10-week wait until their Munster semi-final against Clare or Limerick. 

Introducing a bonus points system like the one that comes in for the Six Nations this weekend piques his interest.

“It would be interesting. There’s a lot of things you could do. I think we’re slow enough to do productive things in the GAA. We seem to be good at changing rules and things for no apparent reason. 

"Bringing in the mark, I don’t know, it just kinda came out of nowhere for me and I don’t know if it’s going to change the game that much. The black card is another one as well. 

"We seem to be good at changing things that don’t really need to be changed, and the things that have to be changed, like the fixtures, we’re very slow to change.”

This weekend’s date with Donegal brings to mind last year’s bad-tempered corresponding fixture in Tralee. Geaney isn’t expecting any welcome mat in Letterkenny. 

“Donegal are knocking around top four, top five since 2010. And it’s the same with us. So when you’re more familiar with a team like that… two of the big guns coming up against each other, there’ll be sparks.”

  • Paul Geaney was speaking at the launch of the Lidl Páidí Ó Sé Comórtas, which takes place in Ventry and the Dingle Peninsula on February 17-19. 

     

  • For a programme of events and a full list of teams visit, www.Paidiose.com 

     


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