Kerry legend Marc Ó Sé has absolutely no time for the International Rules Series and wants to see the cross-over exhibition finished with.
The Irish squad travelled Down Under to take on an Australian selection of AFL players in this year’s edition of the series, managed by 2002 All-Ireland winning boss Joe Kernan and captained by Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea.
Ireland came up ten points short in this mornings’s first Test but have a chance next week to redeem themselves in the second Test.
The exclusion of Dublin’s All-Ireland winning players from the Irish squad and a grim turnout at this morning’s fixture in Adelaide has again raised questions on the legitimacy of the whole series.
Writing in his Irish Daily Mail column on Sunday, Ó Sé did not hold his strong feelings towards the hybrid game back. The Kingdom legend tore into the idea that the series should be taken seriously and even recalls how he felt that way back when he was playing for Ireland.
“I know that people say that one of the great positives the series provides the GAA is that it gave us the opportunity to represent our country – but I never felt like an international player.
“It is not like representing your country at rugby and soccer, where you are playing your game in a global tournament which you know matters,” wrote Ó Sé.
The three-time All-Star continued to point out his lack of interest in the game, stating that it is not even a real sport, and that the cross-over between GAA and Aussie Rules should not be taken seriously in the slightest.
“We were playing a makey-up game two times a year and against the same opponents every time. That’s not just a poor man’s version of international sport, that’s a desperate man’s version.”
So, what does the future hold for the International Rules Series beyond 2017? As far as Ó Sé is concerned, there is no future for the game. He points to the fact that with the adjustments to the inter-county season made coming into effect next year with a view to creating more time for club fixtures will bring even less time for the International Rules from here on.
“If the club is truly the pillar of the association then it should be in no way undermined for the benefit of a small number of elite players playing a bastardised game with a dodgy past and a non-existent future,” he said.
Strong words indeed from Ó Sé.