Captain (Gaelic games)
A captain of a Gaelic games team, sometimes known as a skipper, is a player who, during the course of a match as well as before and after it, has several additional roles and responsibilities over and above those of his teammates.
Tradition means that some teams rotate the captaincy annually, though others may adopt a permanent captain. As well as being an onfield leader, a captain takes the coin toss and raises the trophy when this is the game's prize.
The captain leads the team out onto the pitch.
Before the start of a match, a coin toss between captains of the opposing teams is used to determine which end of the ground each team will kick to.
Ahead of the All-Ireland final, the captain is the first member of the team to shake the hand of dignitaries who may be attending the game, for example the president of the GAA or the president of Ireland. He then proceeds along the red carpet and introduces the other players on his team to the president(s), who then shake that player's hand.
It is tradition following an All-Ireland final that the captain raises the Sam Maguire Cup (in football) or Liam MacCarthy Cup (in hurling) first before handing the trophy to his teammates. The captain is required to make a speech, including thanking the opposition team.
Traditionally, the captaincy of a county team has been rotated annually among different players, meaning that most captains may lead their team to one All-Ireland and/or Provincial Championship (occasionally two), even when their county teams have been dominant.
The idea of a permanent captain of a county team was introduced by Jim McGuinness when he named Michael Murphy "to succeed Kevin Cassidy as captain of Donegal for the 2011 season" (as the BBC stated at the time) after taking over as Donegal manager in 2010. Murphy, in an unprecedented development, held the captaincy throughout McGuinness's time in charge (until 2014) and then became the first to hold it throughout a second manager's time in charge (Rory Gallagher: 2014–2017). When Declan Bonner took over as manager in 2017 he retained Murphy as captain. Murphy reached a decade as captain in 2021.
Jim Gavin upon taking over as Dublin manager, adopted a similar practice by naming Stephen Cluxton as his captain. This allowed Cluxton to become the first man to captain a team to three All-Ireland Senior Football Championships (2013, 2015, 2016). Cluxton currently has eight All-Ireland SFC titles, seven of which were achieved as captain (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), as well as the 2011 All-Ireland SFC when Bryan Cullen was captain.
- "Michael Murphy chosen to captain Donegal next season". BBC Sport. 1 December 2010.
- Porter, Liam (19 September 2012). "Nothing would give me greater pride than lifting Sam". Donegal News.
It's my job to take the toss or to run out first.
- Casey, Gavan (14 September 2019). "As it happened: Dublin v Kerry, All-Ireland SFC Final Replay: 6:01 PM". The42.ie.
Paul Murphy is Kerry captain in [Gavin] White's absence. Dublin win the toss and will play toward Hill 16 for the first half, into the Davin for the second.
- O'Riordan, Ian (14 October 2014). "Kieran Donaghy one win away from claiming Kerry captaincy". The Irish Times.
- "Paul Murphy to captain Kerry senior footballers in 2021". RTÉ. 25 January 2021.
- O'Toole, Fintan (20 February 2021). "Mullen nominated as new Kilkenny senior hurling captain for 2021 season". The42.ie.
- Roche, Frank (6 February 2021). "'More cons than pros' to Kerry system of picking captains, admits skipper Murphy". Irish Independent.
- "Michael Murphy chosen to captain Donegal next season". BBC Sport. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
- Stafford, Mikey (27 February 2021). "Hurling to trial sin bin as part of cynicism crackdown". RTÉ.
- "Congress: Joint-captains no longer allowed accept trophy together". Hogan Stand. 27 February 2021.
- O'Mahony, John (22 March 2017). "'When you're dealing with cancer, a daily dose of inspiration can make a big difference'". Killarney Today.
- "'When Amy told us she was going to be with us we walked out on air'". Hogan Stand. 17 March 2017.
- Kelly, Kevin (22 October 2018). "McGahan and McNiece help Coalisland grab Tyrone prize". Belfast Telegraph.
- Ryan, Eoin (2 March 2021). "Wexford to seek clarity on 'nonsensical' ban against co-captains lifting trophy". RTÉ.
- "Twitter reactions to first virtual GAA Congress". Hogan Stand. 28 February 2021.
- "Limerick keep joint captains despite GAA clamp down on practice". Hogan Stand. 3 May 2021.