While there are criticisms about the GAA calendar, and the pressures it places on younger players, Gaelic Life coaching columnist Steven Poacher says that the importance of schools football cannot be overstated.
In his column in this week’s Gaelic Life, he explains his own situation in St Columbans and how the decision to move to playing Ulster Colleges football a few years ago really helped his players’ progress.
But as he said, it wasn’t all plain sailing.
“A decision had to be made for their final year, year 12, this year.
“Quite a few of the lads after two years of defeats, albeit narrow ones, were asking ‘can we drop down a grade?’. I decided against it.
“I would rather be competitive at a higher level than successful at a lower level. It will reap long-term development benefits for the players.”
Read the full column, and the story of how the year went for those year 12s, in the current issue of Gaelic Life, which you can buy online here.