Outgoing Ireland International Rules manager Joe Kernan is not in favour of GAA clubs seeking compensation from AFL clubs for players they recruit.
Tomás Ó Sé and Conor Nash this week have argued that clubs should receive monetary sums for what they have contributed to developing the likes of Mitchelstown’s Mark Keane and Na Gaeil’s Stefan Okunbor.
But Kernan is more hopeful that such talent in the future has more reason to stay at home than be attracted by the professional game in Australia.
“We’re not professional and even though we put a lot of time into it, I suppose we don’t want to see anyone going away or the good players we have leaving, but these boys are amateurs and we’re always going to be amateurs. If they can go out and do something out in a different country and make a living for themselves, who are we to say no?
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“So, no, I wouldn’t be thinking of going down that road. I would just hope that, one, they wouldn’t go and that would solve all the problems. But if they do go we have to support them and wish them luck and, hopefully, watch them performing and hopefully they stay safe. The unfortunate thing is it is very physical and a lot of the boys that come back either retire early with injury or when they come back they’re never the same. That’s the only worry that I would have or the biggest worry.”
Kernan’s club Crossmaglen face Gweedore in this Sunday’s Ulster semi-final after the provincial council carried out an investigation into their heated win over Coalisland.
“There was no fisticuffs, nothing like that at all,” said Kernan.
“It was one of those games. We have a very young squad – there’s 17 U21 players – and it was probably a new experience for a lot of them, not winning a county title the last few years and it was the first time they came up against something like this.
“It was high-intensity and we didn’t play as well as we can, but we got some great scores, that turned the game for us, and we’re delighted to be in the semi-final. Hopefully, we can improve and we’ll be looking forward to it.”
Armagh’s All-Ireland winning manager Joe Kernan with his grandson James, aged 4, launching Trócaire’s Christmas ‘Gifts of Love’ for 2018.
Joe Kernan was launching Trócaire’s ‘Gifts of Love’ Christmas campaign. Last year, people across Ireland bought more than €765,000 worth of Trócaire gifts, which helped more than 27,000 families throughout the developing world. To find out more visit www.trocaire.org/gifts