Martin goes to Australia…

Great piece from Season Ticket on young Down GAA player Martin Clarke, doing weights and practising with an AFL football in Melbourne… You get some impression of just why International Rules is slipping steadily away from the Irish Gaelic players: technology and professionalism.

  • Pete Baker

    “You get some impression of just why International Rules is slipping steadily away from the Irish Gaelic players: technology and professionalism”

    And payment for that professional commitment to the sport.

  • RG Cuan

    You get some impression of just why International Rules is slipping steadily away from the Irish Gaelic players: technology and professionalism.

    This isn’t a new issue, there’s always been a difference between professional and amateur sportsmen. That’s why it’s so great when we beat the Aussies.

    I don’t think any CLG/GAA member will vote to make the games professional just so we can provide a better challenge in the International Series once a year.

    Technology though is a big focus for most inter-county teams here.

  • Mick Fealty

    RG,

    Indeed, but the time and space a professional has to work up a new body shape and one to one coaching must be deeply attractive to otherwise dedicated amatuers. One possible question Clarke’s (and others’) success in the AFL raises is: are we witnessing the opening of a trade route?

  • Donnacha

    But surely trade routes work both ways. If Ireland is supplying Oz with raw materials for the AFL, what is Australia supplying in return? Transient barstaff?

  • sammaguire

    “You get some impression of just why International Rules is slipping steadily away from the Irish Gaelic players: technology and professionalism”

    You forgot thuggery. Ask Peter Canavan. Delighted to see the GAA is ending the link with Aussie Rules. With a bit of serious marketing the Railway Cup could be revived instead. If 82000 can attend an NFL match under the lights at Croker can’t see why such attendences cannot attend a Railway Cup Final in the future. The product is good unlike the compromise rules crap.

  • George

    Regarding technology and professionalism, I think it’s the very fact that GAA training techniques and facilities have progressed so much in recent years that its players are becoming more attractive to the AFL.

    Another argument is that Aussie Rules is more about mobility these days so it suits GAA players more than it might have in the past.

  • Cromwell

    Are the rules not slanted in favour of Aussie footballers as well?
    I seem to remember years ago that the GAA team used to win regularly, were the rules compromised too much?

  • Jon

    “Are the rules not slanted in favour of Aussie footballers as well? ”

    Er, the shape of the ball might lead you to a different conclusion.

    That Season Ticket was a really good piece – before I was in Oz I failed to understand exactly how much Aussie Rules dominates the sporting agenda in Victoria, WA and SA, and how incredible it is for young Clarke (and Tadgh Kenally and Jim Stynes previously) to get to where he’s got.

    Clarke making his debut for Collingwood within 6 months of being there is just unbelievable.

  • Hogan

    Well done to Martin on his success.

    Seems like it couldn’t have happened to a better lad!

  • RG Cuan

    are we witnessing the opening of a trade route?

    As Gaelic players become fitter and now that travel to Australia is revatively easy, more Irish footballers will try to make it in AFL. However, as some of our best players have found out, it’s not always that simple.

    The ‘trade route’ won’t be that significant to have a negative impact on CLG/GAA here and, as already pointed out, some semi-professional AFL players might come here in return for a job and regular football.

  • Outsider

    This was a terrific programme, Martin seems like a real nice person who had to work very hard when he entered Australia to adjust to his new sport.

    He was not ashamed of his NI roots and indicated early on that he wanted there to be substance behind his move to Australia rather than been looked upon as a novelty from NI.

    I also enjoyed the way he returned to gaelic after his season had ended showing his grit and determination at this sport as well.

    Great programme and great person, I look forward to his future successes.