Peter Husband believes the debate over Dublin’s dominance in football will have “serious repercussions and far-reaching consequences”, but says other districts that want to bridge the gap should focus on training rather than commitment.
Although Tyrone legend said he was a “reluctant participant” in the time debate surrounding the All-Ireland final, he said that “there must be an acknowledgment that there is a problem” and that his views on it have changed in recent years.
“Dublin had to be recaptured by the GAA many years ago, led by Sean Kelly, who came up with a strategic review and looked at where they were taken.
“Now, the shoe is on the other side. Whenever this discussion takes place, Dublin carries the ACs in it,” the husband said.
“Dublin is just going to be in a position where their influence is going to go on for many years to recover the GAA, so first I have to admit that there is a problem, first and foremost.
“Then it’s a case of forces sitting down to do a strategic review and doing something about it.
“Many years ago, two or three years ago, I said, ‘Let it sit, this is a team. You’ re not going to get something like this. Look at it from a player’s point of view. You do not want to play against them. You begin to see that this is not a generational thing.
“No Brogans, no Paul Flynn, Michael Dork [Macauley]; Not even two of their best players in Dublin could be on the team at the time, Brian Howard and Paul Manian so it’s not a generational thing, it’s progressing, it’s credit to Dublin.
“They’ve got their home from the management level, up to the coaching level, they’re out, but this is unfortunately detrimental to football in Leinster, 15 titles in 16 years.
“It doesn’t make Leinster football better, if they continue the way they go, if they win another three or four All-Irelands, it’s going to leave football altogether, so there’s a problem where there has to be an endorsement of serious decisions made in the coming years, but other than that I want to talk about football at this point. “
The spotlight has shone on Dublin’s financial muscle in recent years, with a particular focus around the big games they have won in a canter. For example, in 2018, Dublin spent $ 6 3.6 million on training and sports development alone.
The financial gap is pronounced as many districts are struggling to break the 1 million barrier in terms of overall annual revenue. Husband believes Dublin’s focus on investing in training rather than infrastructure is part of why they left others.
“What Dublin has been able to do so well is that they have invested heavily in coaching at their clubs. When all the boys and girls see their stars performing on the big stage, they like to go out and play Gaelic, and they get quality coaching.
“If a young boy goes to the level of Gaelic training and coaching [is such that] He’s not having fun, he’s not learning, he’s not doing well, and then he’s going to a quick workout or going and playing football or going somewhere else and he’s learning and enjoying the game.
A lot of districts need to get their home in this regard. “You mentioned Tyrone. Tyrone’s approach in recent years is that a lot of work is going on, a lot of good fundraising is going on, but a lot of money is going into infrastructure, like bricks and mortar, and training is on the decline.
“Dublin has done it the other way around. There are no great fantastic centers or anything like that. They have spent their money on the ground.
You may have better facilities and better pitches, which is good, but it’s more important what happens. “Tyrone, and many other districts, should be looking at the Dublin model and reflecting on if they want to close the gap in the playing field.”