It’s 11.41pm on Christmas Eve and here I am starting a post. Christmas means different things for different people. For some, cough, it can be an endurance test. That said, there are silver linings to it, as were alluded to here earlier in the week.
An abundance of horse racing, soccer, darts and, eh, yeah, the grub. But for those of us in Dunboyne, Meath and the game of Ladies Football as a whole got the greatest gift anyone could have hoped for with the news that the great Wall of Dunboyne will be back to assist Davy Nelson and his charges as they go on the trail of a third All Ireland title in a row.
At this point, it must be admitted that I was desperately upset when our Vikki set off for Australia. Not for a semi second was that out of bitterness or begrudgery. Just from cognisance of the incalculable loss the best lady footballer in the country would be to our club and – as it was thought at that stage – the county.
While this corner has absolutely no problem with players – male or female – getting rewarded for their effort and commitment, I feel it’s a scandal that they should have to go to the bottom of the world to be properly valued.
How many more top players have to be lost to our games before the corridors of power bow to inevitability of players being entitled to proper remuneration for their effort and commitment?
For all that, there’s no excuse for the likes of Conor McKenna and/or Oisin Mullin departing teams that can entertain realistic aspirations of lifting Sam Maguire, other than? Do the maths!
Anyway, even allowing for a bit of journalistic licence, it’s difficult to quantify just how much of a boost to Mr Nelson to have one of the pillars of those whom he has begun working with back to bolster his foundations.
Now, though no surprise to us, our Vikki took to the Australian Football League like a duck to water. To the extent that she was nominated for a newcomer of the year award after her exploits with the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
On that though, following the insulting farce that was this season’s LGFA All Star selection, it was as if our girls who went Down Under – Orlagh Lally and Vikki – were punished for going via their hideous omission from the end of season selection.
You know, it wouldn’t take much for a body to think there’s some sort of hex over Meath teams in Kepak jerseys. Whether it’s the lads or the ladies, there appears to be a cohort who rejoice in putting our teams down and undervaluing them.
With men’s teams, that has meant being rode by referees and other officialdom while, apart from the All Stars farce, after their first Senior All Ireland, they were quickly dismissed as one hit wonders.
Then, when they soundly proved that summation was dung, the doubters and knockers said they wouldn’t cope without Vikki (and the other girls who departed after Brendan Martin was retained, Emma Troy and Lally).
Though at the time of typing this corner has no basis for the following other than hopeful opinion, it would indeed be hoped that our other stars on their travels might also return to sender(s).
Traditionally, Meath teams have always been at their best when written off. But surely at this stage, few if any would be brave or stupid enough to write off these heroic ladies.