GAA: Nowadays it's all about success .. long gone is the belief in amateurism SAYS JIM McGUINNESS; DIVISION 1A: TYRONE v DONEGAL, TOMORROW, COALISLAND, THROW-IN 2.30.Byline: Jackie Cahill
HE'S got so much going on these days, it's a wonder Jim McGuinness has time for football!
Something had to give and the Donegal ace will play no further part in Jordanstown's assault on the Sigerson Cup The Sigerson Cup is the championship for top division of university Gaelic football in Ireland. It is administrated by the Higher Education committee which is part of the Gaelic Athletic Association. .
He's currently in the final year of a sports science Sports science is a discipline that studies the application of scientific principles and techniques with the aim of improving sporting performance. Human movement is a related scientific discipline that studies human movement in all contexts including that of sport. course and the 30-year-old has picked an interesting topic for his dissertation.
McGuinness, a GPA GPA
grade point average
Noun 1. GPA - a measure of a student's academic achievement at a college or university; calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the total number attempted member, has decided to take a look at the prospect of professionalism in the GAA.
And as one of the deeper thinkers in Gaelic Football Gaelic football: see under football.
Irish sport, an offshoot of the violent medieval game mêlée. In the modern game, sides are limited to 15 players. he has plenty to say.
"There's a lot of things going on at the moment and what happened in Cork before Christmas opened a lot of doors and highlighted the inequalities that exist," he says.
"Cork is a county pushing for honours every year and the fact they were denied gym membership and a bite to eat after training was ridiculous.
"But things are moving gradually and even though the GAA seems to react more to the GPA rather than being pro-active themselves, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
"If all the players stay together and push, we have to be given recognition.
"Nowadays it's all about success.
"Long gone is the belief in amateurism," he insists.
"I'm a single man so I can only imagine how difficult it must be for a young player with a family away at weekends.
"Look at our own Tony Boyle in Donegal. If the thing was better structured he'd still be playing because he's still only 32.
"Gary McAllister Gary McAllister MBE (born 25 December, 1964, in Newarthill, Motherwell) is a Scottish former professional footballer and manager. He began his playing career at Motherwell, scoring 8 goals in 70 appearances, until his fine performance in the 1985 Scottish Cup semi-final against played for Liverpool when he was 37 years old.
"I'm lucky enough I suppose because with studying I have plenty of time for training at college and it's a form of release.
"Where would I be without it? It's my final year and I've a lot of work on. It's just a matter of trying to organise myself.
One less distraction on the horizon is the fact that his club Naomh Conail were beaten in the Donegal SFC SFC
sergeant first class and he's decided to give the remainder of Jordanstown's Sigerson Cup campaign a miss.
"I've too much on my plate," he explains.
"I have training with Donegal on Tuesdays and Thursdays, training with the college on Friday and a ball session on Wednesday.
"I had to knock it on the head and put the books ahead of the football."
However, he's ok for tomorrow's crunch Allianz Division 1A clash against Ulster rivals Tyrone.
Donegal have lost their opening three fixtures and are deep in relegation trouble while reigning champs Tyrone aren't much better off after losing two out of three.
But there were encouraging signs for Brian McEniff's Donegal in their last outing against All-Ireland kingpins Armagh.
"We were in a good position but they pulled out the result," McGuinness recalls.
"Being All-Ireland champs they're well used to playing with one another but we fell away badly in the last 10 minutes.
"I think it has something to do with the fact that we started back training so late.
"Every team that wins an All-Ireland has that residue of fitness from the previous year because they're training up until mid-September.
"They're in really good shape and traditionally teams that win Sam Maguire Samuel ("Sam") Maguire (1879 - February 6, 1927), an Irish Republican and Gaelic footballer, is chiefly remembered as the eponym of the Sam Maguire Cup, given to the All-Ireland Senior Champions of Gaelic football. play with a swagger.
"I recall Galway coming to Ballyshannon last year and doing the same - they had a great understanding.
Donegal, beaten All-Ireland quarter finalists in 2002, open their championship campaign against Fermanagh in Enniskillen.
And McGuinness notes: "There's no easy games in Ulster and they beat us two years ago before we got them in the back door.
"They have their own internal problems but they should be sorted out come the summer.
"Rory Gallagher isn't with them at the moment but he's an excellent player, very cool under pressure. You'd love to have him in the squad."
Before all that Donegal will look to survive in Division 1 of the league after a disastrous start.
And McGuinness realises just how big tomorrow's game is.
"We didn't get the start we were hoping for and we could do with a win.
"But there's three teams on two points, three on four and Armagh on six so one win can change the whole complexion."
Michael Hegarty's still out with a hamstring pull and John Haran is suspended. But the good news is that Christy chris·ty
Variant of christie. Toye and Brian Roper are back in harness.
But the news concerning midfielder John Gildea's troublesome knee is not good as Mirrorsport revealed last week. And McGuinness admitted: "He's in a bit of trouble and we could do with him around the middle of the field."
; WHOLE NEW BALL GAME: Times have changes for the GAA says McGuinnessSORELY MISSED: Donegal midfielder John Gildea who is out at the moment with a knee injury; JUST CHAMPION: All-Ireland winners Armagh were in a different class to Donegal