Ireland overcame Australia in the International Rules test on Saturday November 22nd and DCU’s Colm Begley was ecstatic with how things went for the Irish selection.
“I was delighted with the game, especially when we had such a bad start in the last series,” Begley said, referring to Ireland’s loss in the first test by 10 points.
“It seemed to be played at a good speed and the overall result is always helpful when you’re at home,” he said.
Having played both disciplines himself the Stradbally native thinks the International Rules series is “starting to find a nice medium,” with regard to the rules.
“The teams were quite level at certain stages, [there were] four points in the game last time and ten points the time before that. It would show the rules are probably level in some way.”
With GAA players increasingly becoming as fit as professionals, Begley believes the players are nearing the same physical level as their Australian counterparts.
“I think overall GAA players are at a professional level, especially at the top. As regards professionals, they just have the luxury of doing it seven days a week.”
Whether or not all Gaelic footballers could make the change like he did to Australian Rules, which uses an oval-shaped ball, Begley was unsure.
“A few boys would love to do it. I think if you gave us two months the players would get a good understanding how to pass the ball.
“Bouncing it is strange enough though. It’s one of the hardest things to do. Even plain hand passing is quite difficult too,” Begley added.
“Our players would be able to adapt but to get to their level would be tough.”
Begley is now in his final year of his Sports Science degree at Dublin City University and is feeling right at home. He has become an integral part of the DCU Gaelic football team and after winning the Sigerson Cup last year he is hopeful that they can complete back-to-back wins.
“I think we have a great panel to do it. We haven’t [lost that many from last year] and we have some fresh players.
“Last year you saw UCC, UCD and ourselves were all very close and even St. Mary’s put it up to us massively in the quarter-final.
“There’s a chance we could win it but I think there are another three teams who could win it too,” the Laois man claimed.
Aside from the Sigerson Cup, Begley is also looking forward to 2016 with Laois, who will open their Leinster Championship campaign against Wicklow.
The winner of that game will face Dublin in Nowlan Park, a controversial choice among Laois people and one Begley can’t get his head around.
“It just seems to be an apathetic way of saying Dublin are out of Croke Park. If they are not going to play it in Laois I’d say scrap it and play it in Croke Park. I wouldn’t mind a day out there if we get a chance.”
Listen to the full interview here.