Danny Hughes reveals the "horsesh*t" as Down endure decline

Former intercounty player on the county's downward trend

Down, GAA, Gaelic football

Down GAA ©INPHO/Presseye/Mark Pearce

Almost seven years ago, Down reached an All Ireland final, narrowly losing to Cork in the September 2010 Croke Park decider. 

Fast forward to this year and the Allianz National Football League campaign is already beginning to look like a write off for a county that won All Irelands as recently as 1991 and 1994. The last Ulster title arrived back in 1994.

They are rock bottom of Division 2 after decisively losing their opening two matches to Clare and Fermanagh and it follows a 2016 championship when they were hammered by Monaghan in the Ulster championship and were eliminated in the first round of the qualifiers by Longford.

But what is at the heart of Down GAA's malaise? 

Former Down footballer Danny Hughes joined Off The Ball to share is view on what's going on in the county. 

He shared one anecdote to illustrate his point.

Support for Down on the Mourne mountains beside Mayobridge ©INPHO/Presseye/Mark Pearce

"The convention last year, there was a lovely couple of quips coming out of it like 'it's always darkest before the dawn'. That was one of them," he said.

"This year it's 'a rising tide lifts all boats'. So what they're doing is, before the meeting, they're Googling motivational quips and they're using these things as brilliant things to put out into the media. Absolutely fantastic sayings but a complete load of horsesh*t and excuse my language but that's the reality. People are fed up with it.

"Everybody has so much respect for what the '90s team's done and what the '60s team done and stuff like that. But slowly our legacy as a county is becoming a laughing stock.

"You can make an argument that we've - and I don't want to be disrespectful to Antrim - but we're sitting round about that type of level... Division 3, Division 4 type stuff. That's where we are."