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The National Athlete Development Academy in Blanchardstown, headed by Dublin senior football coach Martin Kennedy, is offering a great mid-term activity for 11-18 year olds interested in finding out more about how the top players train and prepare for competition.

The two day course will cover the following key points.

•   Acceleration Technique - increasing your speed off the mark
•   Top Speed Technique -maintaining efficient top speed
•   Efficient Deceleration- the key to changing direction, also important in injury prevention
•   Foundational Strength and Power - to support optimal speed
•   Learning about recovery lifestyle and regeneration.

The course takes place on Tuesday Feb 12th and Wednesday Feb 13th and runs from 9.45am to 3pm. The cost of the two day course is €50.

There are a limited number of places still available. More details can be found on our website  and on-line registration can be completed at 

Any other queries can be directed to Mairead on 087 9301354 or email
Following on from the tremendous success of their initial "Train Like a Professional" workshop in October, The National Athlete Development Academy (NADA) is delighted to announce a second two-day workshop at their Blanchardstown headquarters for young athletes and players between the ages of 11 and 18.

The workshop has been designed to give the opportunity for all participants to "train like a pro" over the two days, and could prove to be the perfect Christmas gift for any young aspiring athletes or coaches.

During the sessions, the young athletes and players will be advised on a wide range of athlete testing, training and preparation techniques by NADA's highly qualified and experienced staff.

Topics covered over the two days will include: learning how to best prepare your body for your sport; maximising your athletic potential by improving movement skills and running mechanics; improving jumping and landing technique; as well as increasing explosive power and reaction times. So there promises to be some very useful information and techniques shared over the two days.

The course will provide a brilliant insight into the work that sports scientist do with their athletes /players, as well as helping young athletes to understand more about what they need to be doing in order to be the best they can be.

The event will take place at NADA's excellent new venue at Unit 11, Rosemount Business Park, Dublin 15 and the cost of the two day workshop is €50 per person.

The workshop takes place between 9.45am and 3pm on Thursday January 3rd 2013and Friday January 4th 2013.

To register email Mairead on, call her on 087 9301354 or register on-line at

The team at NADA look forward to welcoming you on January 3rd 2013.
NADA launch GAA Mentorship Programme

The National Athlete Development Academy (NADA) headed by renowned strength and conditioning coach Martin Kennedy, are delighted to offer two new exciting and interactive courses for aspiring coaches.

The courses are as follows:

• Youth Coach Mentorship
• Certificate in Conditioning for Gaelic Games

(i) Youth Coach Mentorship

The course is directed initially towards underage coaches, mentors, sports/games development officers and physical education teachers who have prior experiential knowledge in athlete and player development coaching.
The programme will present an opportunity for participants to develop a theoretical, practical, and academic foundation in the area of athlete/ player development.

Course Aims
This course aims to develop the learner's skills and expertise in areas such as:
• Athlete/Player Development (AD/PD) Theory and Concepts
• Coaching Styles for AD/PD with Young Athletes
• Roles and Responsibilities of the Youth Coach
• Sport Science Concepts for Youth Coaches
• Assessment/Correction of Functional Movement Skills
• Practical Application of AD/PD with Young Athletes

Each participant will be provided with the opportunity to develop a theoretical, practical, and academic foundation in the area of athlete/ player development. They will also gain an insight into how we present design, coach and monitor our programmes at NADA.

Start Date:       Wednesday November 21st - Jan 2013 (tbc)
Times:               7pm - 9.30pm Weds, 9am - 3pm Sats (times may vary)
Location:               NADA HQ (Rosemount Business Park, Blanchardstown)
Price:          €550
How to Register: (€200 deposit required)

(ii) Adult Coach Mentorship

The course is directed towards current mentors, coaches and managers of adult Gaelic Games squads who are interested in improving their ability to develop appropriate athlete and player development programmes (including strength and conditioning / sports science) for adult teams.
It will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of coaching and sports science interventions for Gaelic Games.
Ideally, applicants should be current members of a GAA Club, be working with a squad and/or have an interest in and passion for working with adult teams (desirable, not essential).

Course Aims
This course aims to develop the learner's skills and expertise in areas such as:
• The Physical Demands of Gaelic Games
• Conditioning for Gaelic Games
• Functional Performance in Field Sports
• Training Principles and Planning
• Power and Strength Training
• Speed Development
• Nutrition
• Athlete Profiling/Fitness Testing

The Mentorship courses are an opportunity to learn from the NADA coaches who use the same theories and systems to help top GAA players, at club and county level, to achieve their performance goals.
We will share with each participant the theories behind our practices at NADA as well as anecdotes, insights and best practice from international experts in the area of coaching and sports science.
Every effort has been made to ensure the content of this GAA specific course is as practical and coach-friendly as possible.
While there will be a sound theoretical basis for every concept presented, the key aim of the course is to arm each participant with a 'toolkit' they can bring back to their squads and GAA clubs. And ultimately the athletes and players they work with on a weekly basis.

Start Date:       Saturday November 24th - Jan 2013 (tbc)
Times:               7pm - 9.30pm Mons, 9am - 3pm Sats (times may vary)
Location:               NADA HQ (Blanchardstown)
Price:          €550
How to Register: (€200 deposit required)

For further details about these courses, please contact either:

Mairead Kennedy on or tel. 087-9301354

Accredited GAA related courses at NADA headquarters

The National Athlete Development Academy (NADA) in conjunction with the Department of Business at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), in particular the Dublin County Board of the GAA, have been working together to develop two Special Purpose Awards in sport.

The awards are as follows:

• Certificate in Athlete / Player Development for Youth Coaches
• Certificate in Conditioning for Gaelic Games

Both these courses will be conducted in NADA's recently opened facility in Rosemount Business Park in Blanchardstown and carry 15 ECTS credit Special Purpose Awards at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Certificate in Athlete / Player Development for Youth Coaches

The main driver for this programme was a request by the Dublin County Board of the GAA for a recognised coach development programme for games development officers and club coaches in the Dublin area. However, it is suitable for coaches from all sports.
NADA are leaders in the area of long term athlete and player development in Ireland and have worked with ITB in developing this innovative course.
The course is directed initially towards underage coaches, mentors, sports/games development officers and physical education teachers who have prior experiential knowledge in athlete and player development coaching.
The programme will present an opportunity for participants to develop a theoretical, practical, and academic foundation in the area of athlete/ player development.

Course Aims
This course aims to develop the learner's skills and expertise in areas such as:
• Athlete/Player Development (AD/PD) Theory and Concepts
• Coaching Styles for AD/PD with Young Athletes
• Roles and Responsibilities of the Youth Coach
• Sport Science Concepts for Youth Coaches
• Assessment/Correction of Functional Movement Skills
• Practical Application of AD/PD with Young Athletes

Certificate in Conditioning for Gaelic Games

The course is directed initially towards mentors interested in improving their ability to
develop appropriate conditioning programs for adult teams.
It will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of conditioning for Gaelic Games and presumes no prior knowledge of science or physiology.
Applicants must be a current member of a GAA club and have an interest in working with adult teams.

Course Aims
This course aims to develop the learner's skills and expertise in areas such as:
• The Physical Demands of Gaelic Games
• Conditioning for Gaelic Games
• Functional Performance in Field Sports
• Training Principles and Planning
• Power and Strength Training
• Speed Development
• Nutrition
• Athlete Profiling/Fitness Testing

For further details about these courses, please contact either:

Mairead Kennedy on or tel. 087-9301354

Aileen Connolly on  or tel. 01 805 8205
If anyone is interested in a new service for player profiling in Ulster, carried out by top sports scientists IM me and I will forward contact details.

Top performance coaches will carry out a range of physiological tests, assessing player's speed, power, strength and endurance as well as physical competency and functional movement screens and assessments.
General discussion / It's all going wrong at Forest again
September 02, 2011, 12:07:42 PM
Looks like Steve McClaren will be on the sofa at Sky Sports quite a bit again. 

Surely the job of these managers is to work with what they've got and coach the players to play well. These players have all been considered good enough to be given professional contracts by various clubs over and over again.

It's not "Supermarket Sweep" these managers think they have signed up for is it?
GAA Discussion / Who will follow Donegal?
August 30, 2011, 09:13:13 AM
Any thoughts on other county teams that are likely to look at the Donegal model and decide that the defensive game is their best way forward?

I guess you're looking at teams that have two decent forwards and an abundance of hard working and capable players, as well of course as a manager who understands how the system works and is able to convey that message to the players.
GAA Discussion / London
June 27, 2011, 08:34:26 AM
Just a quick input regarding London. I'm out of London too long now to know too many of the current players but I would like to give the manager and his backroom team a mention.
Paul Coggins was a very loyal servant of London as a footballer and he was on the London panel for their first ever game in the National League back in 1993 (coincidentally against Waterford – a game London won) and he continued to serve London for another ten years as a player.
Throughout that time he suffered all the disappointments that we all did, including losing five or six All Ireland Club quarter finals with Tir Chonaill Gaels.
One of his selectors Tony Murphy also played for the county for six or seven years and gave unstinting service to the team throughout that time. Both have been great servants to London and I'm delighted that when London finally broke their Championship jinx that it was guys like Coggs and Murphy who were in charge at the time.
Likewise the two other selectors Tony Griffin and Aiden Thompson, while having never played for London, have served the county well as part of the backroom teams for a variety of county teams, including the senior hurlers and county juniors. Well done to the whole team and who knows,  maybe there's a few more days-out for them yet.
GAA Discussion / Something for the children
May 25, 2011, 09:36:44 AM
Lads and lassies,

I'm looking for a bit of help from you good folk out there, especially those with a bit of IT know-how.

We're in the process of trying to set-up an under-age club here in Madrid and after the first two months or so of taster-sessions, we are getting 20 kids between the age of 4 and 10 out every Sunday morning.

This is all very encouraging and has been achieved almost exclusively through contacts in one school. After the summer break it is hoped that we will be able to extend our coverage into several other schools as well. So at present things are looking very positive.

Anyhow, we've been in touch with Croke Park asking for direction etc etc etc, and they have been very helpful with some basic coaching material etc and there is the promise of more help to come, so that is all positive.

What I am looking for at the moment is something that some of you may or may not have lying around or on file somewhere.

We are in the strange position of trying to teach kids a game that many of them have never seen played at any level and one which they don't really associate with. In a few weeks time we are having a BBQ to mark the summer break and we were hoping to show the kids a game or at DVD of some sort.

However, what I don't want to do is sit the kids down to watch a whole game of football that they will lose interest in after five minutes and go wondering off, so what I was looking for was some sort of edited compilation piece, maybe ten minutes long maximum, that we could show them while they are eating their burgers. Something a bit funky.

If any of you have anything like that that you would either be able to send via email or through the post then I would be very very grateful. PM me with any useful info.

I know that it is possible to make these compilations yourself through moviemaker etc etc, but at present I don't have access to such, so I was hoping to steal / borrow someone else's creation.

Alternatively any suggestions of places that I might be able to get something like this would be much appreciated too.

Mucha gracias
GAA Discussion / Do you know who he was - Down fans
September 08, 2010, 01:08:10 PM
In the 1991 AI Final a shirtless Down fan managed to climb on to the roof of the old Nally Stand and stood there for most the game waving a huge Down flag. It was one of my lasting memories of the day.
Any of you know who he was? I'm sure he was a minor celebrity in the county for a week or two after it.
Or maybe that's just considered a normal thing to do in Down!!
GAA Discussion / London v Wexford Qualifier Rd1
June 14, 2010, 12:38:35 PM
Jason Ryan will be facing the county he played for for four or five seasons while he was a student. Wexford  shouldn't have too much trouble provided they stay focused, for as Down proved last year, take London lightly and they will make life a little awkward for you.
London's primary focus every year is always the Connacht game (which in itself is a major error in planning) and it has always been very difficult for them to keep whatever momentum they may have generated going into the qualifiers (the pressure from clubs becomes immense once the big game in Ruislip is over) and in general their Qualifier record is quite depressing, regardless of how well they they performed in the Connacht game. But then again, there is always a first time, although from what I have heard about their outing against Roscommon, it won't be this year.
GAA Discussion / Could the wait be over?
March 19, 2010, 12:52:11 PM
Just a topic to throw out there, but from what I have heard from people in London, the sights are been firmly set on a Connacht Final appearance this year. With games against Roscommon and Leitrim standing in their way, the feeling coming from London is that they have the ability now to overturn those two teams.

It has little to do with anything great that the London CB or management have been doing themsleves, but more to do with the huge influx of experienced inter-county players declaring for London. At present on the team they have:

Johnny Niblock - Derry
Conor Beirne - Roscommon
Derek Hayden - Carlow
Paul Geraghty - Galway
Kevin McMenamin - Donegal
Eamonn McGee - Donegal
Darren Horan - Limerick
Declan Lally - Dublin
Brian Smyth - Westmeath

- all available to them and no doubt more to come in. There could be a massive shock on the cards and given that it is over 35 years since they won a game, it is a story worth watching. They might not be all top class players, but they are far better than what London have been wheeling out over the years. In the 20-odd years I was involved, I have never seen a squad containing more talent or experience.

I appreciate it isn't always about the players available and it is more about the player's committment to the project and the preparation etc but London have a decent package at the moment with former Mayo trainer Martin McGrath training them

Roscommon at this stage are scoring well in games but are unable to win any, and I am sure they would rather not be coming to Ruislip this year.

Any thoughts?
GAA Discussion / Next GAA book revelation
October 19, 2009, 07:34:32 PM
In his long awaited upcoming autobiography, due to be serialised next week in the Daily Mash, Armagh's All Ireland winning captain Kieran McGeeney reveals how he really wanted to become a Redcoat at Butlins. He says: "Growing up, all I ever wanted to do was entertain people and make people smile and have a right good laugh myself. Ideally I would have loved to have run away and joined the circus to train to be a clown, but a Redcoat at Butlins would have done me. Des O'Connor was my idol when I was a kid. I used to stay up late on a Wednesday night to watch the Des O'Connor Show and when he moved to Countdown, I used to leave work early to watch it."
Kieran McGeeney's Laughter Is The Best Medicine is available in paperback from Orchard Publications at all good bookshops from November 1st.
GAA Discussion / The Professionals
October 19, 2009, 10:37:08 AM
The admission over the weekend by Donal Og that himself and Dessie have actually gone through the process of accessing the financial viability of professionalism in the game, before realising that it was unfeasible tells a great deal about the motivations of these guys.
The fact is that their primary focus appears to be on the financial element of the proposal, not on the human factor.
Monetary factors aside, there are many other issues surrounding the "professionalism" debate that are far beyond the remit and apparently the understanding of the GPA and I see them as follows;

1.   If a player is being paid for playing for his county, what happens to his commitment to his club? When would they be allowed to play for their club?

2.   Currently county players get the opportunity to develop their professional careers whilst still pursuing their sport at an elite level. It's tough going and we respect that, but it is a tried and proven system. The day after a player retires from playing he just carries on with the rest of his life. If the concept of professionalism was to be introduced into the game, what happens to the 30-something county stalwart when he retires from football after working as a "county footballer" for the previous ten years. Where does he go from there? Who wants to employ a thirty-year old with no experience?

3.   What happens to the guy who gives up his work career only to be told two years later that he isn't good enough and that his contract was being terminated?

4.   What happens to someone when they get a career ending injury?

5.   At what stage would a player become a "professional"  -  while still at university, after uni or straight from school?

6.   What would the standard professional wage be? Given that by the time they reach 30, many top players will be in fairly senior positions in their jobs, then realistically the average wage would need to be in the region of €40-50,000 to make the proposal attractive.

7.   If the scheme wasn't introduced into every county in both codes, then in effect you would be creating a two or three tier hierarchy in football and hurling that would signal the end of the GAA as we know it in terms of county rivalry and county loyalty.

8.   How would you justify €50,000 a year (or even €20,000) for a county hurler from Leitrim or a footballer from London or Carlow, whose average attendance rarely breaks 1,000 paying customers?

9.   If players were employed by the Association, how would the GAA then stop the free movement of players between counties and a type of compensation / transfer system developing. It wouldn't be long before a talented corner forward from Waterford would be "courted" by a top county, and given the freedom of movement of labour, there would be nothing to stop him moving to a better team. Ireland would soon have their very own Jean-Marc Bosman to talk about.

10.   How long would a contract last for and who would issue it? Would it be central or from the county and how long would it last for? Would a player want to give up his career in construction or some the private sector business for the promise of a one or two year contract?

It would be a wonderful idea that the GAA could support 60+ professional county squads (somewhere in the region of 2000 players, plus all the backroom teams involved) but the reality of it is very different.
The currently situation in Ireland proves that Ireland is a country that, economically at least, has been punching way above its weight for the past decade or more. Now it's time to go back to basis. The GAA isn't a broken entity, so why fix it?
There is an ego factor in here with the GPA and there appears to be an element among some of the top brass of carving out long term political / public careers for themselves. That's their prerogative, but in my opinion they don't have the right to potentially terminally damage the long term futures of hundred of average county footballers while pursuing their own personal dreams.
At the end of the day, it is very small proportion of county footballers who are remembered two or three years after they have played their last game. The currency of fame would only last so long in the employment market, and those that are remembered make good use of that fame, but there is only room for so many on that bandwagon.
The GPA needs to go back to its own fundamental principles and stop trying to create headlines and fame for those at top.
Have your say.
General discussion / Most unusual job you ever had
August 21, 2009, 11:04:44 AM
I once had the job of counting the white lines, cat's eyes, drains and lamp posts along stretches of the M4 and A40 outside of London. Apparently the Roads Agency do a inventory of the road every five or six years, so I spent my days walking along the grass verge entering information into a hand held computer. The guy I was working with had been doing this for 25 years and his other role was tightening bolts on the central reservation barriers on motorways when they were closed for maintenance. I lasted a week before the boredom got the better of me.
General discussion / Best teacher
August 18, 2009, 01:34:36 PM
Was reminiscing the other night with a mate about school and we came across the topic of best teacher we had, looking back with adult eyes, rather than the somewhat jaundiced eyes of youth. Mine would be Teresa McGlone at Omagh CBS in the mid-1980s.
Also came across subject of worst teacher, which would be a totally unfair thread to start, so we'll stick with best teacher.
Kieran Shannon is a top journalist, writes intelligent interesting pieces, but occasionally, when he gets the timing wrong, even he can be made look a bit foolish as can be seen by this article from the Tribune a week or so ago.

Great article, but I bet he wishes he had held fire for a while though.

A non-stop decade of success and attention have left Kerry tired of the summer slog, and that is the very reason why a team of superstars that has illuminated recent years is fast approaching the end
Kieran Shannon, Gaelic Games Editor

The real story isn't so much what happened in Kerry in the past week but why it happened, but we'll begin with what happened first. After Syl Doyle blew the final whistle in Tralee last Saturday week, you'd only have known Kerry had won by checking the scoreboard or the cheer of relief from the crowd. Even Paul Galvin, who had a magnificent game, seemed to be as embarrassed as he was sympathetic in offering his commiserations to Sligo players before drooping off towards the tunnel. As the crowds emptied out, a dozen Kerry players that had got little or no game time were put through a rigorous sharpening-up session by trainer Alan O'Sullivan. Micheal Quirke was instantly visible from the stands, as was the blinding pace of Darren O'Sullivan but the player that stood out most was Tadhg Kennelly. After all the others had finished up, Kennelly stayed on for another quarter of hour working on his point-taking. It signalled a message: Kerry were still in the championship, determined to win their All Ireland, and in Kennelly was someone desperate to win one.

Back in the dressing room though, there were players in a pique of "Yerrah, f**k it", who decided to go drinking that night. In a goldfish bowl like Killarney they were always going to be spotted and when the panel assembled on Tuesday, they were challenged by management and then in a players' meeting by their colleagues. Tomás Ó Sé and Colm Cooper owned up that they had been drinking; Cooper in downtown Killarney, Ó Sé on the outskirts of the town.

But why did they do it?

It's all in the name of where Cooper went on Saturday night with a few friends from home.

The bar is called Jade's.

The jaded went to Jade's.

• • •

Last Thursday Colm Cooper was the main photograph on the front page of a national broadsheet newspaper, above the story that he and Tomás Ó Sé had been dropped from the starting 15. There's barely another team in Ireland that would command such attention for their indiscretion and demotion.

In being such public property, Cooper is there to be deconstructed. Liam Hayes has questioned Cooper's claims to greatness, saying that he could never win a game on his own the way a Canavan or Colm O'Rourke did. It's a dubious argument; for every brilliant performance of Canavan or O'Rourke's, we'd be able to counter it immediately with one from Cooper. But there was another fundamental reason why it was flawed. Only Cooper's dodgy spells were recalled by Hayes; never Canavan's or O'Rourke's.

The country had never heard of Colm O'Rourke before he hit a 14-yard free off the upright against Dublin in a 1983 Leinster semi-final. O'Rourke by then was 25. Cooper was only 25 last year.

Peter Canavan was 23 by the time he won his first championship match. When Cooper was 23 he had won three All Stars and three All Irelands. Liam will magnify Cooper's run of four poor-to-mediocre games in the middle of Championships 2006 and 2009, without any mention of Canavan's five-year anonymity from 1997 to 2001. We say this not to question Canavan or O'Rourke's greatness, but to defend Cooper's. He's been a gift to the game.

But he's been flogged. He's gone stale, on the verge of burnout.

In his club, Dr Croke's, they've noticed it. Over the past couple of years any teammate that doesn't play in the perfect ball, any referee who makes a dubious call, risks a verbal lashing and chasing. That would have been unimaginable a few years ago.

Sports psychologists have a term for it – depersonalisation. They hand out a questionnaire called the Maslach Inventory, asking players to agree or not with statements like: "I find myself treating others impersonally and feel less sensitive and more hardened towards others"; "When things go wrong, I'm less tolerant and tend to blame others more than I'm used to." In the 1990s the angriest anyone in Erins Own ever saw Brian Corcoran get was when he was wrongly pulled up for a free and without saying a word snapped the ball to the ground before walking on. By 2001 he was regularly hounding referees. He retired a few months later, burned out, depersonalised.

If you were to sum up why Kerry are stuttering this summer while Tyrone are flying, then you could call it August in Chicago Syndrome. When Tyrone were beaten by the likes of Laois and Meath in 2006 and 2007, their players were able to head off and party, see the sites, play a bit of football as mere fun. Kerry have only known August in Croke Park. This is Cooper's eighth championship and he's only had one September off. This is Darragh Ó Sé's 14th summer as a starter with Kerry and he's only had one August off.

It's the same for most of the team. Incredibly, Cooper was the side's fourth-youngest starter last Saturday week.

Diarmuid Murphy won an All Ireland under-21 medal way back in 1996. Four of the six backs that played in front of him against Sligo have been there since 2000. Marc Ó Sé has been there since 2002, Aidan O'Mahony since 2004.

There's a lot of medals in them backs but a lot of mileage too.

And that's what's happened here. That's all that's happened. This is the downside of success. The hamsters are tired of the treadmill.

The likes of Cooper are playing county championship into November; East Kerry O'Donoghue Cup right until Christmas. And then it's the holiday.

This Kerry team have never had the full month of January at home. The January after they lost the 2002 All Ireland final you'll remember Páidí sitting by the waterfront in Cape Town, waffling on about Nelson Mandela. The January after losing the 2005 All Ireland they headed off to Las Vegas and Cancun. Even the one year they didn't reach an All Ireland final there was no reprieve; in January 2004 they went to Lanzarote for a training camp.

In the unlikely case that Kerry reach this year's All Ireland, take it there will be no team holiday. These fellas don't need another break with each other, they need a break from each other. And they're never away from the scene. They're always been judged – in every pub and every paper in the country, not just county – by the crippling standards of the two most successful teams in GAA history – O'Dwyer's Kerry and Cody's Kilkenny – the only two other teams that have played in as many consecutive All Ireland semi-finals as this current Kerry team. When Tyrone lose to middleweights like Laois and Meath and Down they get a leave of absence. When Kerry lose to fellow heavyweights like Armagh and Tyrone and Cork there is a national inquiry (and let's face it, something of a national celebration too).

Can they turn it around now? Highly unlikely. You can say that they were here in 2006 too but they're three years older now and there's no Donaghy to ignite and remind them it's all just a game. That's part of their problem. They keep reading from the 2006 script. Win the league. If you don't win Munster, drink ban.

In a book that Mickey Harte has devoured, the legendary NBA coach Pat Riley outlines the various stages in the cycle of a team. The last he calls 'core cracking' – "when winning," he says, "has played itself out". After a decade of incredible success, Riley left the LA Lakers, Magic Johnson telling him that after a big loss, the players knew he was probably going to crash a chair against the wall to buck them up. So it is with Kerry. Lose to Cork – drink ban, lads.

Even the pros drink between games. On Planet GAA, you can never just have a couple of drinks; it's feast or famine. It's hard to feel that sorry for these Kerry players. They've played in so many All Irelands, they've travelled and seen the world. But Colm Cooper lives in Killarney. There's a lot more going on there on a Wednesday night than there is in Ballygawley. Forget about August in Chicago; Cooper wanted a bit of July in Killarney. His decision to go drinking last week wasn't so much a breach of discipline as a cry of exasperation, nigh one of help – "I'm a Kerry celebrity; get me out of here."

Cooper had to be hauled up with the rule in place, but maybe this summer the rule shouldn't have been there in the first place. But it's difficult to be critical of Jack O'Connor. He would have wanted to freshen up the team but then Aidan O'Shea and Daniel Bohane got injured, so did Anthony Maher while a couple of close relatives of David Moran suffered some ill-health. Plus, that's a tough dressing room to handle.

It will be a different one next year. Darragh will go; probably Diarmuid Murphy and Tom O'Sullivan too, and possibly Tomás Ó Sé, Aidan O'Mahony, even Gooch, along with him. What we're witnessing is the core cracking of a team that has had an incredible run.

Enjoy them while you can, even if they're no longer enjoying it themselves.

General discussion / Twitter
July 16, 2009, 12:27:56 PM
What's the story with whole celebrity promotion of twitter. Why has this site become such a high profile communication tool, given that things like myspace and facebook already existed. Even organisations like BBC and CNN have started to promote it. Can anyone explain why should it have taken such a market share so quickly.
GAA Discussion / Ciaran Shannon RIP
June 29, 2009, 07:21:20 PM
I am sure you have all heard or read about this tragic story. Certainly one of the most heart breaking stories I have ever heard. May he rest in peace and may God look down on his family. Not quite sure what else can be said.