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Showtime as GAA managers and media prepare for new season

By Declan Bogue

Published 06/05/2015

Your humble Gaelic games correspondent was in media-luvvie land over the weekend, taking part in the Newstalk Saturday panel with host Nathan Murphy, ex-Roscommon goalkeeper Shane 'Cake' Curran and Tipperary's retired goalscorer supreme Eoin Kelly.

As the media goon in residence, we were asked to shed some light on the ever-diminishing scope for revealing player profiles and how paranoia and distrust is becoming more widespread between some teams and managers and sections of the media.

It appears relations have hit a new low when, even before he had taken charge of Wexford in a single game, their new manager, David Power, issued a number of guidelines.

He would be available only for interview after training on a Tuesday night and wouldn't take calls any other time of the week. If you wanted a player interview, it had to be pre-approved by a member of the management team.

Wexford were taking the year seriously and clearly they were starting with themselves. No more would they be the source for a handy story.

Now they were going to be as unattainable as the Dublin footballers because, hey, that's what it takes, baby!

Remember that Wexford finished the league campaign bottom of Division Three.

Anyway, now that the press launch season is beginning today with the Ulster Council's own event in Donegal town, followed by the Donegal team press evening, it is nothing short of showtime.

During the course of our discussion on Saturday, I asked the former players how they actually felt when a dozen dictaphones were thrust under their chin, while journalists betrayed emotions in front of them ranging from the engaged to the plain bored silly.

Kelly said that all the time he was talking, he was fearing the headline. Never mind the raw text and the sentiments he was conveying, it would be the headline that was likely to land him in trouble.

Perhaps that is why we know so little of the Kilkenny hurlers, one of the sporting marvels of the world.

Either way, as we check the oil and water on the journalism bus before setting forth on the chicken in a basket tour, it's something to chew over.

SKY Sports have confirmed that former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness will form part of their punditry panel for the 2015 Championship season, along with former Kilkenny hurler, JJ Delaney

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