"I was disillusioned" Michael Duignan on why he ran for Offaly GAA Chair

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Dual All-Ireland winner Michael Duignan says his disillusionment with the state of the game in the Offaly led to him running for Chairman of Offaly GAA.

Duignan spoke to Off The Ball after the meeting in Tullamore where he defeated incumbent Tommy Byrne by 76 votes to 62.

"I'm disillusioned with where we are. I think we could be doing better. I think the realities (of their ambition) in the morning, we're not talking about winning the All-Ireland but we are talking about being very competitive and much more competitive than we are in the short term.

"When I saw Offaly going into the Christy Ring and I saw the draw for the Christy Ring last year, it really spurred me into life.

"I know the footballers are going quite well at the moment, but I think we are in a position we shouldn't be in. I think we should be a lot more competitive particularly against our neighbours in bordering counties.

"We're just finding it difficult to beat anyone of note, hurling or football at the moment.


Duignan thinks Offaly hurling needs a change in mindset: "I think we have to breed ambition and change the culture to get our players back to where they should be.

"It's about creating a culture form a young age, from 13 or 14 they should be aiming at the top. They should be measured against the top instead of hoping for the best, there's a bit of that going on at the moment.

"We have to set our standards higher.

when asked

Due to the scope of reforms Duignan has been raising, he was asked if he saw this as a long-term chairmanship.

"I have not really thought about that, it's about getting in. We'll have to see how it's going I'm not coming in for a short term, i am committed to the project

"We have to come here every year to the convention and you have to get reelected. So I think there will be a fair focus on us to see what we are doing and in 12 months' time, we will be judged.

"The honeymoon period will be brief enough, I think people will be expecting to see action. There's been alot of talking done, we have to back it up on the ground.

I'll certainly be back here next year looking to be reelected. It'll take a number of years to put all our plans in place but I wouldn't be one of these people that says we have to look years down the line in terms of making progress.

"We have to start seeing change on the ground this year and we'll be judged on it next year."

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All-ireland Faithful County Hurling Legend Michael Duignan Offaly

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