Donegal Forum

Luke Keaney Interview

(Oldest Posts First)

Excellent interview with Luke Keaney on Off The Ball AM this morning on the topic of player burnout. Luke had to retire from all football in his mid-twenties due to hip degeneration. The Donegal county board haven't come out of it very well - Luke had to spend €13,000 of his own to get surgery to repair his injury which flared up during his inter-county career. By the sounds of it, Luke received little or no support from the County Board.

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hashtag (Donegal) - Posts: 35 - 11/12/2019 17:00:44    2254323

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Disgraceful treatment no surprise he was badly looked after.Jason Mc Gee heading to Coventry also.

neutral (None) - Posts: 282 - 11/12/2019 20:30:21    2254345

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I'm only a bit into it so far - it's about an hour long. The thing that's stuck out for me so far is that he played 7 matches for Four Masters in 28 days because the Championship was put on hold while Donegal were playing in the All-Ireland, and that's when his hip problems started.

I wonder how many other players have suffered similar problems because of the rigours of that much intense football over a short period of time, which is ultimately the result of poor planning by the people who arrange the fixtures?

here is a link to the interview, by the way:
[url=]https://www.offtheball.com/football/luke-keaney-retirement-936551

Texas (Donegal) - Posts: 155 - 11/12/2019 21:25:27    2254352

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The interview is a little overlong and Gilroy performs quite poorly (repeating questions, presenting statements for agreement rather than questions etc.) but it's nice to see the topic highlighted, and very worthwhile having discussions during the quieter time of year about player welfare, both in regards to workload management and long/medium term welfare. The latter in particular can take a lot of forms (physical and mental) but is a great, tailor-made area of focus for the GPA.

From a Donegal point of view maybe it's worth questioning how best to ensure, structurally, that player welfare is subject to continuous / continual (leanúnach) overview and less subject to the changes in county boards, management teams & individual roles. This could have a second effect of aiding in disputes over player availability. Very hard for an amateur organisation to achieve of course.

Goitse (Donegal) - Posts: 43 - 11/12/2019 22:34:10    2254359

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Replying To Texas:  "I'm only a bit into it so far - it's about an hour long. The thing that's stuck out for me so far is that he played 7 matches for Four Masters in 28 days because the Championship was put on hold while Donegal were playing in the All-Ireland, and that's when his hip problems started.

I wonder how many other players have suffered similar problems because of the rigours of that much intense football over a short period of time, which is ultimately the result of poor planning by the people who arrange the fixtures?

here is a link to the interview, by the way:
It's a good listen/watch - you can see how much it hurts him not being able to play anymore and it's impossible not to feel sorry for the lad. From an insurance perspective, it's an interesting one - Luke's injuries seem to be a result of wear and tear due to excessive playing/training with multiple teams, across multiple years - whereas something like a cruciate ligament tear can be pinpointed to an exact day and time and would probably be easily covered under most insurance policies (the GAA's insurance policies aren't great either - but that's for another day).

Funny you mention the 7 games in 28 days - I'm nearly sure Karl Lacey's injury trouble started during this time as well. He was out for a good six months after that club championship in 2012 if I recall correctly. The thing that stood out for me was the fact that Luke and his family paid out of their own pockets - I would have assumed that his club and the county board would have run some kind of fundraiser to help them out if it wasn't possible under the GAA insurance scheme.

hashtag (Donegal) - Posts: 35 - 12/12/2019 01:14:06    2254369

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There is a huge problem in GAA around this especially the perceived weaker counties. Players are often expected to pay for consultations and treatments themselves before producing receipts. Could be waiting god knows to get anything back which is incredibly mean spirited. Also any players playing now should take every advantage they can be it scholarships or career offers. When you stop playing even legends within their counties are soon forgotten. Also highlights of doing too much too soon. I was appalled when Jason McGee got called into the county squad so young by RG. The lad has still not fully recovered.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2260 - 12/12/2019 12:17:09    2254414

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Too many managers with egos and agendas pulling young players this way and that.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6650 - 12/12/2019 15:53:51    2254451

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Replying To neutral:  "Disgraceful treatment no surprise he was badly looked after.Jason Mc Gee heading to Coventry also."
There are many sticks you can beat the county board with but sending Jason McGee over to Coventry is not one. Jason, like Kieran Gillespie and Lee Keegan before him, went to Coventry because they are the European leaders in that particular surgery.

themaddog (Wicklow) - Posts: 70 - 12/12/2019 18:52:38    2254488

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Replying To panamasam:  "There is a huge problem in GAA around this especially the perceived weaker counties. Players are often expected to pay for consultations and treatments themselves before producing receipts. Could be waiting god knows to get anything back which is incredibly mean spirited. Also any players playing now should take every advantage they can be it scholarships or career offers. When you stop playing even legends within their counties are soon forgotten. Also highlights of doing too much too soon. I was appalled when Jason McGee got called into the county squad so young by RG. The lad has still not fully recovered."
Hi panamasam:. Jason took a hit in a league game in Cavan, it was one of his earlier Senior games if I remember correctly, it was a Saturday night, instead of taking him off Rory left him on and he took a second hit and was forced off.

AudiMan (Donegal) - Posts: 420 - 13/12/2019 00:20:05    2254574

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Could a link be made to Rory Gallagher for Luke Keeney's injury?

gunman (Donegal) - Posts: 615 - 13/12/2019 12:19:03    2254650

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Replying To AudiMan:  "Hi panamasam:. Jason took a hit in a league game in Cavan, it was one of his earlier Senior games if I remember correctly, it was a Saturday night, instead of taking him off Rory left him on and he took a second hit and was forced off."
Absolutely spot on Audi man I was in the terrace that night. It was the start of a run of injuries but as anyone who has been injured knows the back and especially lower back and hips have a domino effect in terms of injuries to other areas especially the hamstrings. There is a big gulf in physicality from minor to senior. That is why under 21 is so badly missed as the step up not so daunting. No other position highlights this more than midfield. For me that is where I see Michael Langan playing but takes a few years of conditioning.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2260 - 13/12/2019 14:02:06    2254678

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