Footballers back in action

Footballers back in action

The three-week break in the National League has come and gone and the trip to Cork on Sunday will be a very interesting one indeed. I think that most Roscommon fans would have settled for two points after our first two games in Division One and now we have three games on the trot.

  After what happened in Kerry it is hard to predict what might be the outcome on Sunday at Pairc Ui Rinn. In their first game against Mayo, Cork looked devastating, yet they went to Donegal in round two and were well beaten. On their best day Cork will be very hard to beat. However one thing that Roscommon fans can be certain of is that there will be a huge effort put in by all the players and Roscommon will be competitive.

  These are the games that Roscommon fans and players have wanted to be a part of for many years. This is where lads learn and games like this one will stand to Roscommon later this year when the championship comes up, and in future years too.

  If we do manage to get something out of this game it would be a huge morale booster for the rest of the campaign. I am not expecting Roscommon to win but then again I said the same thing about the game against Kerry.

GAA set for Carlow Congress

The GAA Congress takes place this weekend in Carlow and there are some major motions on the agenda. The proposal to scrap the minor and U-21 grades will be hotly contested.

  I am for introducing an U-17 competition instead of minor because there is far too much pressure on lads doing the Leaving Cert to be playing county minor football as well. However I am not so sure about scrapping the U-21 competition. It is played off quickly and mainly on Wednesday nights and is straight knockout. Some of the best games of football that I have seen in recent years have been at U-21 level.

  Last year’s Connacht final between Roscommon and Galway was the best game of football that I was at in 2015 by a long way. Roscommon have had great success at U-21 level over the years so I would not like to see it scrapped.

  Another interesting motion will be the attempt to play all the games including the club championships in the one calendar year. I don’t think that it is possible to do that without huge disruption.

  Remember that there are 12 teams in the Leinster club championships and it takes a  number of weeks to play that off.

  There are nine counties in Ulster which is always ultra-competitive as well. Munster and Connacht have a small number of teams but when you factor in that the London champions come in at the quarter-final stage and that every county championship would have to be finished before the provincial championship start, I cannot see it working.

  The problem with player burnout is not the amount of games that they play, it’s the amount of training that they are doing.

  Even if the counties agree to all three motions and scrap the minor, U-21 and agree to play all the club game in the one calendar year, there will still be burnout among players who are doing far too much training.

Ireland can overturn England

The Ireland v England rugby game at Twickenham on Saturday is a daunting prospect for Joe Schmidt and his team. They are already decimated by injuries and they have no chance of retaining their championship title.

  However there is something about playing England in their own backyard that ignites passion in Irish players and don’t be one bit surprised if Ireland defy the odds and win the match.

Harney’s hamstring hampers U-21s

On a more sombre note Ultan Harney damaged his hamstring in the warm-up for last Saturday’s Sigerson Cup final and he is sure to be out injured now for five or six weeks which is bad news for the county U-21 team who face Galway on March 9th. If Ultan is out of that game he will be a huge loss.

  Enda Smith and Ultan failed in their bid for two Sigerson Cup medals in a row when UCD won it for the first time in 20 years last weekend. It was a poor enough game, but the conditions were brutal. Well done to Niall McInerney who was on the UCD panel. He played or came on in almost every game.

Hurlers quick out of the blocks

In the hurling league Roscommon are on course for promotion after two wins from two games, but they will not need me to tell them that there is still a lot of hurling to be played and a lot of work to do. The next home game is against Fingal and they have proven to be sticky opponents in the past.

  However it looks like Tyrone will be the strongest opponents for Roscommon, who should definitely be looking at the divisional final now after two wins out of two.

From the Internet

A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for Sam!

Six years back on the Late Late Show, Eamon Gilmore – unwilling to commit to rolling back austerity measures – loftily announced that the ‘politics of promises are over’. But it turns out the politics of promises hadn’t even begun to start. And they have reached their apogee in this campaign in Mayo.

  In a county where every second person seems to be a Fine Gael TD, Sinn Féin’s Rose Conway Walsh is attempting to muscle her way into Dáil Eireann. The bookies have her in a three-way battle with Fine Gael’s Michelle Mulherin and Fianna Fáil’s Lisa Chambers for the final seat.

  And in this campaign, she has shown she knows how to tug at the heartstrings of her constituents. What do Mayo people want? Aside from health and education and crime and all those other irrelevant  fripperies? We know what they want. The alleged ‘All-Ireland champions in whingeing’ want an All-Ireland in something else.

  In ‘promising’ that her elevation to the Dáil will make a Mayo All-Ireland win more likely, she has hit us with an absolute belter of a stat… “No county without a Sinn Fein TD or MP have won the All-Ireland senior football title in 15 years – Give Mayo the best chance, so vote Sinn Fein.”

  The last county to win an All-Ireland football title without the inspirational presence of a Sinn Féin TD or MP was the last Connacht county to win Sam, Galway in 2001!

(Courtesy of Balls.ie)

Political footballs

There’s an old saying that sport and politics don’t mix but a number of candidates in General Election 2016 have proven that the opposite can apply. From All-Ireland medalists to winning managers, the field includes a number of well-known faces from the world of Gaelic Games.

  Here, we run the rule over 8 notable GAA figures hoping to win a seat in the Dáil next Friday. From O’Mahony to O’Flynn, here are the men looking for your first preference votes…

John O’Mahony – Sitting TD O’Mahony and former Mayo Leitrim and Galway team manager is standing for election in Galway West/South Mayo.

Shane Curran – Former Roscommon goalkeeper Curran was recently added to the Fianna Fáil ticket in Roscommon-Galway.

Joe Hannigan – Hannigan is the current chairman of the Tipperary football board and well-known in GAA circles within the Premier County.

Michael McDonagh – Former Clare GAA chairman Michael McDonagh will run for Fianna Fáil in Friday’s General Election.

Pat Deering – Deering is a current Fine Gael TD for Carlow-Kilkenny and served as Carlow GAA chairman from 2005-2010.

Jimmy Deenihan – Deenihan is the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and at the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for the Irish abroad. He was appointed to this role on 11th July 2014. He is an All-Ireland winning Kerry captain and the holder of five senior All-Ireland medals.

Diarmuid O’Flynn – Before turning his attention to politics, O’Flynn was a popular GAA journalist for many years with the Irish Examiner newspaper.

Peter Fitzpatrick – Fine Gael TD Fitzpatrick is a former Louth senior football team manager, and was the Wee County supremo in 2010 when they lost a controversial Leinster final to Meath.

(Courtesy of The42.ie)

Oran ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ a success

On the weekend that the annual GAA Congress takes place, the importance of the GAA club in local communities across the country is plain for anyone to see on a daily and weekly basis.

  This was underlined again last weekend when I was privileged to be able to attend the Oran ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ fundraiser which was held at the Radisson Hotel in Athlone.

  It was a superbly organised event. Fifteen local couples strutted their stuff and over 900 people attended the event on the night. It was a fantastic night’s entertainment and was so professionally run – it was great fun from start to finish.

  I don’t know what the final figure that they raised on the night was but I know it is huge and they deserve every cent.

  The entire community decamped to Athlone for the event and it shows what can be done. The organisers can take a bow. It was a stunning night of craic and very profitable too.