Belfast Telegraph

Bond of brothers

The Oisin McConville column

Unity is strength. And this is being vividly underlined more and more within that elite band of teams for whom success appears to have become a way of life over the course of the past decade.

Parochialism has in turn been an asset and a hindrance within the GAA down through the decades — an asset at club level when the world can begin and end at the parish boundary and a hindrance at inter-county level when a failure to see the bigger picture and set aside internecine squabbling can have devastating side effects.

It is no secret that some of the more successful county teams boast a bond that is the envy of many club sides, even though the latter units can contain a smattering of brothers, a ration of cousins and a fusion of in-laws that might suggest an impregnable solidarity.

But petty differences, molehills that can become mountains and an almost incestuous desire to claim dubious bragging rights can gnaw at a team’s morale and ultimately prove their downfall.

For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.

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