Published Monday, 18 June 2012
That was at a time and during an era when a team could survive and be successful with just one star forward racking up the bulk of the scores. Fast forward nearly two decades and the landscape has changed somewhat.
Saturday's Ulster Semi-Final between Derry and Donegal is the perfect example.
For most of the game, Derry managed to negate the obvious scoring threat of Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden. But yet, the men from Tir Conaill still managed to rack up nineteen points, with nine different players represented on the score sheet.
It is widely accepted that tactics in the modern game can often result in the star forward being taken out of the game. The net result is that in order to have any chance of winning you need a range of players chipping in with scores.
Consider that five of Donegal's starting six forwards were on the score-sheet in this encounter but crucially both mid-fielders and two of their half backs also got in on the act. When a team play with eleven or twelve men behind the ball it is important that you have players making quality runs from deep to unearth a different type of scoring threat.
When we compare this to Derry then you can get a picture of how an over-reliance on one player is a guaranteed recipe for defeat.
For over a decade now, Paddy Bradley has been responsible for the bulk of Derry scores in championship. In Saturday's Ulster Semi-Final this old Achilles heel was as apparent as ever.
Only two other players managed scores from play, but apart from stating the obvious, it has to be said there was an obvious gulf in class between the two teams. I would strongly argue that club football in Derry is stronger and more competitive than in Donegal, so why did Saturday's game look like men against boys?
In my time playing for Antrim, I reckon that I must have encountered over one hundred different players on the panel at different stages. Continuity of personnel, in my opinion, is a pre-requisite for success.
Often, this type of turnover can be a sign that lots of players are around the same level, good enough to make it onto a county panel, but very few have the ability to deliver on the big stage.
Derry had seven of the team which started last year's Ulster Final on their team-sheet on Saturday, yet Donegal had thirteen. Just like the U2 classic, you get the feeling that Derry manager John Brennan 'still hasn't found what he's looking for'.
If there was any doubt beforehand, Donegal are the team to beat in Ulster this year, whilst Derry will have to do a bit of searching if they are to make any sort of impact in the qualifiers.