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"I was horrified at the GAA's solution" | Jamie Wall on Donegal fiasco

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

21:50 9 Jan 2020

The GAA's solution to the Donegal fixture congestion was so poor as to horrify - that is according to former Cork footballer Jamie Wall.

Wall joined Off The Ball alongside former Donegal player Eamon McGee to discuss the situation that led to the county's decision to pull out of the McKenna Cup as a result of the pile-up of matches.

Donegal decision

Declan Bonner told Highland Radio that player welfare concerns meant they would not fulfil their fixture against Monaghan, and Wall believes that the association are largely responsible.

"I am horrified at the fact that they thought the solution to this thing was to play the game on Tuesday," said Wall.

"The Sigerson is going to be on next Sunday as well, so thank god that a little bit of common sense prevailed and Donegal pulled out.

"I just think that it is people that are not on the ground making decisions.

"Donegal are going to get fined for this, and while county managers are bottom of my sympathy list, that is wrong in and of itself too.

"The right decision is to pull out of it."

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The Sigerson Cup is a central issue to the fixture surfeit, and Wall illuminated the plight of a college coach, with his role at Mary Immaculate College in Cork.

The discussion was in relation to the emotional OTB AM interview with Luke Keaney, who spoke of being 0ver-trained and then forgotten after a chronic hip injury.

"One of our guys is on the inter-county panel and calls me to see if he should train tonight. I ask him what he has done this, he lists it and I say 'Absolutely not - just come down and say hello to the lads.'

"The fact is that these guys are young guys that want to impress the inter-county managers. They are not going to pull rank on a manager when their body is not feeling it. Some of them are on scholarships, so none of them wants to pull out of college games.

"If nobody is willing to stand up and say 'the long term health of the player is the most important thing', we are going to have [a situation like Luke Keaney's]."

You can watch Luke Keaney tell his story to Off the Ball here

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