DCU Gaelic footballers Philip O’Donnell, Conor Moynagh, Colm Begley, Kevin Feely and Shane Carey have been named to the 2016 Sigerson Cup All-Star Team. DCU’s tally is second only to the seven University College Dublin players named to the team.
Speaking to The College View, Cavan star Moynagh said that individual awards are never what he sets out for, but he does enjoy having his talents recognised.
It has been suggested that Dublin’s dominance of this year’s selection (12 of 14 play for either DCU or UCD) is a direct result of the capital’s unfair recruitment advantage and Moynagh can understand the logic behind these claims, but doesn’t agree.
“UCD definitely set the standard this year and we were right behind them but UUJ (University of Ulster, Jordanstown) weren’t very far off at all.
“I suppose Dublin has a bit of an advantage in the sense that it’s the capital and players are attracted to play here but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“This year, the two best teams in the country were both in the final and that’s not always the case. They just happened to be from Dublin. Like I said, UUJ were right there and UCC (University College Cork) just had a down year but they’ve been good for a long time.
“To be honest, I think the gap is between UCD and the rest of the country. It’s not between UCD, DCU and the rest of the country.
“I think they (UCD) did it the right way this year. They had a full team out from the start of the year and probably had their system perfected very early.
“We had some players who were involved in their club championships and some players who needed a break after the inter-county season. They beat us twice in the league and again in the Sigerson final so their continuity and momentum definitely helped.”
As the college season comes to an end, Moynagh and his teammates don’t have much time to rest before the start of the All-Ireland Championship starts in May and June.
“(Fixture congestion) is a big problem, particularly in January and February,” said Moynagh, criticising the year-round nature of the amateur sport.
“At that time of the year you’ve the McKenna Cup, the O’Byrne Cup, the McGrath Cup and so on. Then you have the Sigerson and National League so you’re a bit all over the place.
“There was an eight day stretch this year when I played four matches. When you think about it, that’s complete madness. You don’t look forward to the end of the season because that means your county side is out of the championship but there are times that you need a rest.”
A major talking point this since the GAA Árd Comhairle has been the introduction of the mark rule, as seen in Australian football and rugby, on a trial basis.
“I don’t think it’s something that I’d agree with at all,” Moynagh claimed in relation to the development.
“I’m not sure if it will change much. Teams will still play short kick-outs but it will only slow the game down even more. Lads will be taking marks when there’s nobody around them at all. I’d like to see them just take it in and lay it off to make the game a bit faster.”
When asked about the significance of Niall Moyna’s resignation as DCU manager, Moynagh said that, “Niall would be a massive loss to any team he’s involved with.”
“I’ve been working with him for a good few years and he’s been involved with DCU for the guts of 15 years.
“He’s Mr. DCU. Any player who has had the chance to play for him will tell you that. He really is Mr. DCU.”
Image credit: Sportsfile