The characters in every GAA club

The local GAA club is often the centre of a community and plays host to a wide array of characters with some very different traits. From the players to supporters, and the backroom staff, every individual plays an important role in the club.

The word ‘supporter’ is a very broad term comprising of numerous personalities. This is especially true for GAA fans.


The ‘Mad Mammy’

Their child was a gift from God. Not like any other child, an angel. The light shines from them and a perfectly shaped halo sits on top. Well, that’s all the mother sees. We, on the other hand, see a 6ft 4 man weighing 13 stone tackling like he’s playing in the rugby league. But how dare the ref give him a yellow card for taking a member of the opposition down with no regard for the ball. And god help the man who tackles her baby boy, she’ll be over the wire quicker than you could attempt an escape. You don’t mess with the mad mammy!


The Side-Line Commentator

There is always that one supporter in every club who could give you the possession statistics from the opening round of the 2001 junior club championship. They never miss a game and are a vital part in the club’s communication, giving their running commentary from the side-lines while tweeting all the action as if the rest of the country is relying on their updates. If you haven’t a clue about the game or simply just forgot your glasses, they are the perfect match companion.


The ‘Enthusiastic’ Fan

Appearing at every match, rain, hail or shine, they often take over the management role from the side-line. Instructions and opinions are not so subtly communicated to the team with some less than pleasant language. It can be a deafening 60 minutes for those in close proximity, however, their intentions are good, and they remain a true supporter.


The Bandwagon Fan

“Did someone say final? Count me in! I’ll get down to O’Neills and get my jersey. I’m a big supporter you know!” Sound familiar? They may not know the rules, the positions of why there are two big poles above the nets, but they will be sure to cheer for their club when the rest of the crowd does (and sometimes mistakenly for the opposition too). These bandwagon fans often travel in packs too. The side-lines of club matches may have looked bleak all year, but when it comes to a final, somehow everyone in the village is available to pull on the club colours and celebrate the victory. Coincidence? I think not!


The Old Timer

They’ve been there as long as time and have now become part of the furniture. A loyal fan in every respect who couldn’t envision missing a game and the players certainly couldn’t imagine them missing a game. A true club treasure.


We can’t forget about the reason the club still exists, the players.


The Ancient Player

They have been playing for the club since they were no height, but 40 years later they still have no intention of hanging their boots up. They often claim they are ‘keeping the team together’ with their years of experience until the future star of the club emerges from under 16. Various veterans of the game (closer to the fifty-mark than they would like) have also been spotted, making appearances to ensure the team didn’t fold. Dedication at its finest.


The Upcoming Star

There is always light at the end of a tunnel, and for most clubs, it takes the form of fresh talent making its way up through the ranks. The young player usually will have made an appearance on the underage county team with club supporters branding them as “the next Colm Cooper”. Every loss is followed with the hopeful slogan, “it’s ok, we have ***** coming through for us next year”.


The Sulking Sub

Finding themselves subject to the bench once again, they question why after all they have done for the club. However, they overlook the fact they have only trained a handful of times this year, they ‘forgot’ about the team meeting and they lost possession of the ball more times than they had possession in the last match. They talk the talk on the bench, critically analysing and slating every move their teammates make, they’ve turned into the local version of Joe Brolly. A real team player!


I’m sure various individuals from your local club come to mind in relation to each character, do you see yourself in the bunch?