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'Assassination on his characte...
Football

'Assassination on his character' | Donaghy critical of Dean Rock backlash

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

10:55 27 Jul 2020

Former Kerry star Kieran Donaghy has criticised the backlash from some quarters over Dean Rock charging a fee for his services as a free-kick coach.

The Dublin forward announced his new business last week, with workshops and sessions for those willing to pay.

Some people have been vocal in their criticism online, saying the Ballymun Kickhams man shouldn't be charging for his services in coaching a skill in an amateur sport.

However, Donaghy wasn't having any of that when speaking on OTB AM earlier.

"I just thought it was over the top. I just thought it was an assassination on the guys' character. [He] does a lot of great work for charities in Dublin, has given an amount of his free time up doing stuff with kids.

"I'm sure he's signed plenty of autographs, he's been a role model, as most of them Dublin fellas are.

"I just thought... just the fact that people can sit there and put stuff up on Twitter and have a go off a guy that's trying to start a business... yes, it's a business and yes, he's allowed to do that.

"GAA players are allowed to market themselves as best as possible and try and make a living for themselves. There are so many GAA players in the country that turn down overtime, turn down extra hours, turn down a promotion in their job, because they're giving their all for their county.

"When they often do something by themselves or something that's off the cuff, it's just this kind of backlash that just bugs me. I think we're past that as a nation, I think we've moved on.

"I thought a lot of the comments were... I think it was begrudgery in a lot of the comments. 'How dare he even think about charging this for his fee?' You go to any top coach in any top sport outside of the GAA, some of the figures are crazy.

"Dean Rock's stuff, there's video feedback, very detailed analysis, stats on where you kick, so much feedback. This isn't land onto the pitch, take an envelope and watch a guy kicking a few kicks.

"It isn't for some people, and some people can't afford it. This was never designed for young kids... this isn't that kind of thing. This is more senior club players that are trying to get an edge on a vital component of the game. We have one of the best in the business offering his services.

"The jump on his back to assassinate his character... the GAA is nothing but a business, it's a great association, volunteers make the GAA, but you go to an All-Ireland final, and you'll see the commercialism that's around that.

"Try and tell me that one of the shining lights can't do something on the back of that for himself... [it] is kind of annoying for me, yeah."

Donaghy added that he had witnessed this kind of begrudgery in Ireland before.

"I know what GAA players are asked to do for charities, for families, for a kid every once in a while, or call to somebody. GAA players do it and never make a fuss out of it.

"They might have family commitments, they might have something on, and they still try to make it happen some way or the other.

"I've my issues with WhatsApp and the stuff said on WhatsApp and shared on groups... I've a major issue with the way people share stuff around without thinking at all really.

"If you have an hour or two with Dean Rock on the technicalities, he's going to teach you how to do it right. You can then go away and practice for your 10,000 hours if you want to be a Dean Rock or a Bryan Sheehan or a Maurice Fitzgerald or a Seán O'Shea.

"Price points are always a tricky thing when you're starting something.

"I just felt there was a lot of shitty stuff going on and there was no need for it. Maybe it's something to do with him being on the five-in-a-row winning Dublin team and 'They have enough', that kind of mentality that might be in the rest of the country.

"I saw it myself with Paul Galvin when he went off doing his fashion thing - the amount of stick and bitterness really annoyed me that time as well."

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