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Master mind: 5 things Jimmy McGuinness will bring to Celtic

9 Nov

Published by, 9 November 2012

JIMMY WON THE matches that mattered.

Now Jim McGuinness is set for a brand new challenge when he joins SPL kingpins Celtic as a performance consultant with the club’s youth system.

The mastermind behind the most impressive GAA revolution and evolution in recent memory, McGuinness turned heads as he ripped up Donegal football and started again, managing the county to their first All-Ireland title in 20 years.

The Glenties native is used to total control but in his new part-time role in Scotland, he will go from being the undisputed top dog to a rather minor cog in a much larger sporting machine.

But what can McGuinness bring to Celtic’s youth system? And what can young guns at the Glasgow giants learn from his brilliant success in the north-west over the last two seasons? [...]

It was 30 years ago today… Seamus Darby’s goal denies Kerry an historic fifth All-Ireland on the trot

19 Sep

Published by, 19 September 2012

THE 1982 ALL-IRELAND football final has come to be regarded as one of the best ever, as Eugene McGee’s Offaly became the only obstacle between the great Kerry footballing dynasty and an unprecedented fifth successive title.

Offaly were no minnows, nor were they likely to suffer from stagefright. They had been here before 12 months previously, falling to the Kerry sword in a 1-12 to 0-08 loss.

If sides learn a lot in victory, they unquestionably learn more in defeat, both about themselves and about their opponents. As the 1982 final entered its second half, however, it appeared that any lessons which Offaly had taken from the previous year would ultimately count for naught. [...]

College can wait as McBrearty prepares for ultimate examination

18 Sep

Published by, 18 September 2012

THERE WILL BE no shortage of Dax Wax and Brylcreem on display in NUI Maynooth this week — it is Freshers’ Week after all — but one man who will be steering well clear of the assorted hair gunk, late night revelry and hungover mornings is Donegal star Paddy McBrearty.

When all is said and done and Sam Maguire goes home for the winter to the hills of Donegal or out west wrapped in the green and red of Mayo, 19-year-old McBrearty will get a taste of college living as he belatedly knuckles down to begin his Arts degree in geography and history.

It is said that the college days are the best of your life, but standing on the brink of Sunday’s All-Ireland football final, the Kilcar teen has plenty of reason to disagree. Ambitious and driven, he was a rare youngster for whom partying always came a distant second.


Report: Canning holds his nerve to force All-Ireland replay

9 Sep

Published by, 9 September 2012

Kilkenny 0-19 Galway 2-13

ON HIS FIRST appearance at the big dance Joe Canning was the coolest man in Croke Park, pointing a free deep into stoppage time as Galway and Kilkenny played out a frantic draw in the All-Ireland SHC final.

It was a moment of redemption for the Portumna ace who missed a straightforward free to level the match late on, leaving Kilkenny on the brink of sixth title in seven seasons after Henry Shefflin nudged them in front with a pointed penalty in the 68th minute.


Family matters as McHugh draws on dad’s finest hour

23 Aug

Published by, 23 August 2012

IT CAN’T BE easy growing up in the shadow of your county’s greatest footballer but Mark McHugh knows that he has reaped the benefits of being his father’s son.

Small in stature, 20 seasons ago “Wee” Martin McHugh was a footballing colossus, terrorising defences from the half-forward line as Donegal bid to bring Sam back to Tír Chonaill for the first time.

An All-Star and Player of the Year recognition came part and parcel with McHugh Sr’s deserved All-Ireland medal, a fitting crescendo to a brilliant career nearing its final act.

Now for the second time in his young career, 21-year-old Mark is just two games away from matching his dad’s crowning achievement.


Gilroy pulling the strings on Brogan’s star turn

6 Jun

Published by, 6 June 2012

TO LOOK AT Bernard Brogan in Croke Park last weekend, you wouldn’t think it was his first inter-county appearance since that September day which ended with a hug from “Pillar” Caffrey and the Sam Maguire held high.

Sure, the signs of rustiness were there when the two-time All-Star missed an easy free in front of the posts early on but it wasn’t long before he was raising the umpires’ flags and bothering the back of the Louth net.

Brogan finished a comfortable Sunday afternoon with 2-5 to his name, bagging his first championship goals since the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final. If missing the league campaign to take a holiday and then to undergo keyhole surgery on his knee was an ill-advised decision, it certainly didn’t show.

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