Mick O'Dowd not a fan of the critical culture creeping into the GAA

The former Meath manager doesn't believe young players should be criticised at developmental stages of their career

Former Meath manager Mick O'Dowd has taken aim at former players who are critical of the amateur athletes within the GAA and likened it to that of the hyper-professional Premier League where players are on "highly inflated salaries".

In an interview with LMFM, O'Dowd criticised older players who have turned into pundits and accused them of taking the "moral high ground" on a lot of individuals in the developmental stages of their career.

“When you get into the role, and you invest so much of your life and time in it, you get a thick skin about all of that but you’re dealing with players who are in the development stage of their careers, in their early 20s.

"They’re investing so much of their lives in it, doing exams and Masters, or starting in their careers, (and) it’s a little bit sickening to hear some former players, who were very good players, possibly, but lucky to be part of a team at the right time that came together.

“Now they take the moral high ground on a lot of individuals putting so much of their time into the game.

“It was more for the players really than myself but I have heard other managers being vilified by people.

“I just don’t think it’s right. It’s an amateur organisation but we’re close to the UK and the Premiership, where people are on highly-inflated salaries over there.

“Has that culture drifted across to the GAA? I think it has and it’s not something I’d be happy to see.

“It’s so prevalent now and there are so many opinions on everything. Fans are entitled to go to games and discuss the games and absolutely that’s part of sport.

“They want to see the game analysed and discussed and there’s nothing wrong with that but when it starts getting into individuals, it’s going too far.”

O'Dowd stepped down as Meath manager after a defeat in the Leinster semi-final to Dublin following by a defeat to Derry in which they suffered a collapse in the second half.