Sideline Cuts – 14


Tir Na nOg is said to be the land of  eternal youth, though it may now have competition for that title, in Coolock, Dublin. What else could one think after it emerged the ageless wonder that is Stephen Cluxton has rejoined the Dublin panel ahead of the championship. The Parnells clubman hasn’t featured for Dessie Farrell’s side since lifting the Sam Maguire for the seventh time last Christmas. Where he gets the hunger and drive to keep coming back I don’t know but this corner wouldn’t mind getting the recipe off him.

Game Changer: Cluxton could still be a vital cog for Dublin

Now in his 40th year, the return of the most iconic and influential player of his generation spells bad news for anyone who thought there might be a drop off in efficiency from the all conquering blue wave. You’d have to feel for Evan Comerford too. Between himself, Shane Supple and Mick Savage they’ve spent more time on the bench than the President of the High Court!

The Daft Figures Of Citizen Kane

I haven’t really got ‘into’ the European Championships, yet anyway, for reasons that hardly need further elaboration. Though there have been some really good games, Portugal against Germany and Portugal against France in particular. England, as is their wont, have plodded through the group stages, however, overtures pertaining to an impending roar by the Three Lions may be dampened somewhat as it is those they seemingly cannot escape from – the Germans – who lie in wait over the next trench.

The often pedantically efficient outfit might not be the force they once were, but, like putting a Kerry jersey in front of a Corkman, talk of football coming home will surely get their pistons firing. And, while this England team can have a tendency to be prematurely written off, their entire universe seems to revolve around Harry Kane. That to me is about as reliable as re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Nobody could question the Tottenham forward’s acumen or alacrity at coming up with the goods as he when fit, but he’s about as injury prone as Lance Corporal Jones was to panicking in Walmington-On-Sea. All of which make the figures being bandied about regarding what Pep Guardiola would be willing to shell out for the man with the Galway daddy look completely daft.

Not that Sheikh Mansoor spending looney money on players is anything new, but, with Guardiola once having described the equally crocked Sergio Aguero as “Irreplaceable”, bringing in a slightly younger version of the same thing hardly makes sense.


One night long ago, yours truly learnt the folly and associated danger of loose talk. Admittedly in my case there were several units of God’s black nectar on board. That certainly would be a factor with Jim Bolger, so you can be fairly sure the great man from the Model County must have had fairly solid evidence with which to substantiate the fairly incendiary direction his recent newspaper and radio interviews went. Remember, JSB is not only one of the greatest trainers the Sport Of Kings has seen, but also has a hugely significant breeding operation in conjunction with his brother Paddy at Redmonstown Stud.

Jim Bolger pictured here with son-in-law Kevin Manning

Moreover, there is absolutely no way he would make the remarks he did if he hadn’t utmost certainty about them given those who are involved in the brouhaha wield more influence and clout in horse racing and the global bloodstock industry than anybody else on the planet.

Even if the Brains Trust do deem that there is a case or cases to be answered, they will have to exercise judgement of extreme caution in dealing with same. If the ball is dropped on this issue it could do untold damage to the sport and business we all know and love. Thread softly for you thread on my dreams.


It was surprising and frankly a bit disappointing to read former Ulster and Ireland lock Dan Tuohy launch a fairly scathing attack on former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

Joe Schmidt brought Irish rugbj to new heights

The Kiwi was famed for his attention to detail and manic, intense methodology. It goes without saying that such a style won’t sit well with everybody but in a results drlven business very few could quibble with his contribution to Leinster and Irish rugby.


Current European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington recently announced that Graeme McDowell and the German Martin Kaymer would be two of his vice captains for what is normally the biennial joust against the Americans. There’s no doubting the credentials of either man, but, it’s probable their appointment will rule both out of contention for playing roles.

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