The ball’s not even thrown in and the off-the-ball digs are flying

Note to self: Don’t read fan forums. At half time in what I think was the 1992 Leinster SFC Final, legend has it the Dublin and Kildare players got a little hot and bothered about each other on the way down the tunnel.

It was the first incident of its type this writer can recall. Though it was only chicken feed compared to some of what came in its wake. Galway and Armagh, step forward!

However, at least with most of the other outbreaks of slap and tickle, they occurred within the confines of a pitch. In some cases, mind you, the ball’s not even thrown in before the off the ball digs begin.

And so we arrive at the Regional Football Championships in Dunganny. Just to be clear here, said blows are entirely metaphorical. Revolving around the makeup of the teams in the Dioralyte-sponsored new competition.

Specifically, the presence of Royal County stars of yore Mickey Burke, Mickey Newman, Donncha Tobin and Alan Nestor therein. Now, obviously, the object of the Regional Championships was to unearth new talent for the incoming senior managrment.

Please God they will do exactly that. But, if the ‘other’ lads can bring something to the table – in whatever capacity they might be incorporated – why not make use of their experience?

Dunsany’s Pierre Fox

Of course, there is the possibility that the advent of the new round robin event was propogated as a means for players from smaller clubs to attain meaningful reward – and by extension their clubs – whereas it may not be feasible in the clubs’ own right.

In other words, akin to the system in place in Cork and Kerry and quite possibly other counties. As it happens, on the day this piece will appear, two divisional sides will battle it out for the Kerry SFC Final.

The club competition structure in Kerry is complex and elongated to put it mildly, and if anybody could explain it yours truly I would be very much obliged. What is known, though, is that, if a divisional team wins the Kerry SFC, they cannot represent The Kingdom in the Munster Club SFC. That honour goes to whoever wins the County Club Championship.

Anyway, to get back on point here, taking it that Colm O’Rourke’s intention during the new Championship was to run the rule over the talent in the county, surely it must be considered that he invited the old soldiers in for that very reason.

However, for what its worth, my thinking is that there may be other reasoning behind his methodology. It must be stressed, the following is only my own opinion, but, it wouldn’t surprise if he will, even occasionally, draft the old stagers in as auxiliary coaches.

The Longwood Honeybadger

In his first Sunday Independent column after his appointment, the new boss said the net would be cast wide and no offer of help would be refused. Regrettably and to the considerable upset of the occupant of this seat, no such bait was discharged in this direction. Never mind, it was painfully learned a long time ago that you’re generally never a prophet in your own land. And the closer you are to home, the less tends to be thought of you.

Anyway, with Colm already having enlisted the services of former Dublin custodian Shane Supple as goalkeeping coach. He could certainly do worse than get Mickey Burke to school his defenders and ask Kilmalnham’s finest to act as tutor to perspective place kickers.

Personally speaking, I wouldn’t care if he brought in Nelson Muntz if it were to assist Meath back to where we should be in football’s pecking order.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: