Declan Brennan: "There is a serious lack of emotional intelligence out there in the GAA at the minute"

Declan Brennan, Anthony Moyles and Off The Ball discuss the potential for a Club Players Association

BY Raf Diallo 20:00 Tuesday 18 October 2016, 20:00 18 Oct 2016

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Declan Brennan says there is a "serious lack of emotional intelligence in the GAA" at present as the potential for a Club Players Association grows. 

The former Monaghan selector has touched on the possibility of creating a Club Players Associationand had admitted that they had received thousands of messages from people interested in getting involved. 

Tonight he joined Off The Ball to discuss the idea and the plans for the future.

"Over the next couple of weeks, we aim to come together again to put a bit of meat on our proposal. But the reality is it's not so much that we're forming a Club Players Association; we're trying to rally the troops of player power, club people to help out Croke Park, help out the president, help out Pauric Duffy. Because we feel there's far too much red tape, bureaucracy and vested interests to move things forward quick enough," he said.

"We think that physically and mentally, it's to the detriment of the club player. Now, people do forget that county players are club players, so I've got as many messages from county players throughout the country, past and present, delighted with how we've moved forward and are very enthusiastic about getting behind it."     

Ex-Meath midfielder Anthony Moyles was in studio alongside Joe Molloy, and touched on the fixture issue with an example of what happened in his own county. Noting that his own club had "three games in 15 days after having a 17-week gap," he detailed the ensuing problems such issues cause for the club player.

"I look over at the football field in Dunshaughlin - I live pretty close to it - and during the summer, there's hardly ever anyone out there at the best times of the year. And then are games happening then in the depths of winter or in Autumn," he said.

Brennan explained that the plan is to condense the season.

"This isn't about a week or two weeks. This is about condensing the season and seeing what's important and where our GAA is going. Are we bringing the heart out of the GAA?" he asked.

"Ten years ago we were removing players to play minor football, under-21 and senior. Now, we're removing them from the community and clubs from 12 years of age to development squads, isolating them and moving them away from their local peers. Where is it going to end? I think there is a serious lack of emotional intelligence in some of the decisions that have been made." 

He added that he feels the choices made within the GAA should not be focused on those that affect the top-end of the game, rather that the implications they will have on the lower levels need to be taken into account.

"From my point of view, players are physically and mentally drained. The people that are winning have no problem saying 'everything's fine, fantastic'. But there are a lot of people losing games throughout the country, and I think we're losing a lot of players from 15 years of age to 30 years of age, either from serious injury or burnout etc." 

He re-emphasised the point that "there is a serious lack of emotional intelligence out there in the GAA at the minute".

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