Diarmuid Connolly believes the GAA should scrap Sunday games and play senior inter-county championship fixtures on Saturdays.
The Dublin forward feels the move away from the traditional Sunday matches would benefit the players.
“A big thing for me would be having most games played on a Saturday and not a Sunday because guys have to go to work on Monday morning.”
“It would be a big statement from the GAA if they came out and said right we’re going to play games on a Saturday rather than a Sunday, I know it’s tradition to play on a Sunday but it’s not fair on guys who have to go to work on Monday morning.”
Connolly also addressed what he feels is a punishing calendar for players who do well in the club championship.
He lined out for St Vincent’s in the first round of the Dublin SFC in May, having won the county title and conquered Leinster they’ll contest the All Ireland semi-final after Christmas.
If they make it to the final, Connolly’s club season will be stretched to almost 10 months between first round and the conclusion of the competition, the 29-year-old feels that along with the demands of representing your county are having an adverse effect on player’s desires to commit to the cause:
“It’s probably taking longevity out of players, you’re not seeing a lot of inter-county players playing into their thirties, as soon as you turn thirty you’re nearly written off aren’t you? It’s funny.”
“There are massive demands, guys have careers, guys have families, and there are a lot of things going on. It’s not only the physical demands; it’s more the mental demands in my case. I’ve been very lucky with no injuries.”
“There really needs to be a downtime or an off season for players to switch off mentally to go on a holiday and enjoy themselves, you’ll get less injuries, you’ll get less guys falling out of love with the game.”
Connolly works as the national sales manager for Converse Ireland, he says his employers have been understanding and co-operative when it comes to accommodating his football commitments:
“They’ve been brilliant with giving us time off when we ask, we do get a little bit of special treatment it works in our favour as well, the GAA opens doors in other facets of your life.”
“The Sunday games would be a big stickler for me I’m not sure how other players feel about it, but I don’t see why the game can’t be played on a Saturday. Guys can rest then on Sunday and get back to work Monday.”
“You’re waiting all weekend for a game on a Sunday and then you’re waking up sore Monday morning and not physically able to go into work Monday morning if you get a bang or a bruise.”
“Football consumes your life, well it has for me for the last three years. There’s not a day goes by where you’re not thinking: what am I eating, or where am I training what am I doing next or you’re speaking to someone about your performance.”
“It absolutely consumes your life, I don’t want to be negative about it either because I love doing it, but it’s nice to be able to switch off every now and again.”