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Topics - Fuzzman

GAA Discussion / Wed night Re Runs
June 10, 2020, 07:10:07 PM
Join us on Zoom on Wed June 10th at 8:30 p.m. to relive, in full, the legendary Tyrone v Armagh All-Ireland Semi-Final of 2005.
The atmosphere, the tension, the rollercoaster up-and-down of the match, the breathless finish...
The greatest game I've ever been at....

Topic: Tyrone v Armagh All-Ire SF 2005
Time: Jun 10, 2020 08:30 PM Dublin

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 846 2238 1314
Password: 254941
Does anyone need a room in Dublin Sunday to Fri morning
PM me and we can discuss as my friend as a room he wants to let out mid week.
Dublin 7 near Smithfield Luas
Possible weekend option too.
A friend of mine has an apt in D7, which is usually free Sun to Thur and the odd weekend, with 4 double beds.
PM me if you need a place to stay or fancy a wee break in the big shmoke.
8th championship game of the season for Tyrone and it's only mid July.
Building up momentum nicely and whilst we might not look like we're at the same level to the Dubs, Kerry and Donegal (perhaps) we seem to have got back our mojo and are much more assured and comfortable playing in this style.
It is very different to a few years ago with a lot more direct kicking and our actual full forwards back scoring regularly. With McShane showing little signs of easing up or being taken out of the equation (so far) he continues to be the championship top scorer and must be in with some chance of an all star.

I was at the Cork v Dubs match on Sat night as couldn't make it to Roscommon and Cork certainly came out all guns blaring v Dublin. Yes the final score looked dreadful for them but I'd say they will attack us like crazy and show us no fear at all. Could be a bit like the Rossie game as we hammered them as well last year so they will have to prove they've progressed a good bit since then.
They still look naive a bit at the back and you would imagine Tyrone will let them win their kickouts and allow them to approach our 40 and then steal the ball from them and break
GAA Discussion / Ulster Championship 2019
April 16, 2019, 04:41:10 PM
Only four weeks to the start of the Ulster championship lads and I just thought I'd get a bit of chat going about it how we see it going this year. With Tyrone, Donegal and Monaghan sharing the last 10 years will we see that continue this year or will someone surprise us? Since 2009 Tyrone have won 4, Donegal have 4 and Monaghan 2.
Recent injury news means Monaghan lose one of their best players in Darren Hughes but have unearthed a few good forward to help out McManus and are no longer a one man team. Monaghan look to have the easier run to the final but Fermanagh soon ended that talk last year after they did the hard work beating Tyrone in Omagh.

Donegal will be excited by the return of Paddy McBrearty who some would say can be the top forward in Ireland on his day but only this week Odhrán Mac Niallais opted out of the panel again and will be a big loss. The Donegal men will be very hopeful of getting to the super 8s and beyond this year with a good mixture of youth and experience in their ranks now and a more open style of play. They finished very strongly in Div 2 and will have their tails up coming into this championship

Tyrone seem to be a team reborn in the latter stage of the league and were unlucky not to make it to the league final. They seem to have shaken off their defensive shackles with a lot more direct kick passing being used into a strong ball winning full forward line of Mattie Donnelly, Peter Harte and young McShane.
We do have a very poor record for first round/preliminary round games in Omagh but even the most pessimistic Tyrone fan would say they should beat Derry easy plenty to spare in the 4 weeks time.
The winner of that game meet Antrim who have yet to nominate a venue for that game which is marked down for a Sat evening throw in. Actually there are a few Sat night games this year which I enjoy myself.

Down and Armagh and Cavan v Monaghan will now doubt be tasty local affairs which usually set the sparks flying early on.
Hopefully it's a more enjoyable championship that 2018 which besides the Fermanagh shock win over Monaghan turned out to be a rather boring non eventful year in Ulster.

Sunday 12 May 2019 Preliminary Round - Healy Park, Omagh at 16:00
Tyrone  v  Derry

Saturday 18 May 2019 Quarter-Final - Kingspan Breffni at 18:00
Cavan  v Monaghan

Sunday 19 May 2019 Quarter-Final - Páirc Esler, Newry at 16.00
Down  v Armagh

Saturday 25 May 2019 Quarter-Final at 18:00 NO VENUE YET
Antrim  v Tyrone / Derry

Sunday 26 May 2019 Quarter-Final - Brewster Park at 14:00
Fermanagh  v Donegal

Sunday 2 June 2019 Semi-Final 16:00
Cavan / Monaghan v Down / Armagh

Saturday 8 June 2019 Semi-Final at 17:00
Tyrone / Derry / Antrim v Fermanagh / Donegal

Sunday 23 June 2019 Final 14:00
Semi-Final A Winner v Semi-Final B Winner
This game could be a real relegation battle with Tyrone facing Cavan next  whilst Monaghan have Kerry
Monaghan's home win against the Dubs could prove vital as I don't see us getting much out of Croker on the 16th March though Monaghan have to go to Kerry yet.

Tyrone really seem to be labouring since the start of the league and it's hard to know is it lack of fitness, style of play, no plan B as we try to run everything or some discontent within the panel. The easy thing to say is that it's only February and they don't give a fiddle about the league and its all about being fit for late July and August like Kerry, Mayo and the Dubs do every year.

Monaghan always raise their game against their neighbours and recently have been got over any fear of Tyrone when playing in Ulster. With a few new players brought in this year, Monaghan too will be very hopeful of winning back the Ango Celt as they're in the easier half of the draw again.
Referee is David Gough I see. Maybe I'll offer him a lift down from Dublin. It's a long time since we won in Kerry.

Just read the report from last year there. I'd say major changes to the team this weekend with maybe the whole back 6 being replaced with McNamee out suspended though maybe Frank Burns will get back his No 6 jersey.
I wonder will Kennedy be the new partner for Collie at midfield or maybe Grugan.
All over the field Mickey has a lot of hard calls to make and it will be interesting to see does he name Petey Harte at FF again? I thought he was quiet on Sat night.

Tyrone 1.16 to Kerry 0.14 in Omagh 25th March.

Tyrone defeated Kerry by five points in a Healy Park tie largely irrelevant to the Allianz League standings, with both sides already safe going into the game.

The home side didn't take the lead until first half stoppage time, but a solid second half display saw them score a morale-boosting pre-championship success over their fierce rivals.

Declan McClure's late goal sealed a closely fought encounter, but defeat will not cause too many sleepless nights in the Kingdom, who kept a number of their key players in reserve.

But it was an encouraging result for the Red Hands, who have managed to put a couple of positive results together at Healy Park, the venue for their Ulster SFC opener against Monaghan on 20 May.

In front of a crowd of 6,115, Kerry wing back Cormac Coffey landed a long range effort early on, and they went back in front through Killian Spillane, after Division One's top scorer Lee Brennan had got the Red Hands off the mark.

Mattie Donnelly, scorer of four fine points from play against Mayo a week earlier, spent most of the opening half inside his own half as the hone side set up defensively, often channelling 14 players back to within their own 45 metre line.

Kerrey moved the ball with fluency, using their traditional foot-passing game to effect, and their finishing was clinical as they moved into a  0-5 to 0-2 lead b the 15th minute, with Daithi Casey and Spillane, from a free, thumping over long range efforts.

As Tyrone built from deep, Jason Foley and Mark Griffin defended solidly, holding the Red Hands scoreless for 12 minutes, before Brennan slotted over a free.

Kerry's movement caused significant problems to a back-tracking Tyrone rearguard, and they crafted a delightful score, with Kevin McCarthy's purposeful run sending Stephen O'Brien in for a tidy finish.

Johnny Buckley followed up with another long range effort, and a Michael Burns score on the half-hour had them 0-9 to 0-6 ahead.

But in the closing stages of the half, Tyrone committed more men to the attack, with Donnelly, Peter Harte, Rory Brennan and Ronan McNabb making support runs.

They kicked five of the last six points, with Donnelly curling over a gem, and Cathal McShane stepping round Griffin to blaze over the bar when he could well have netted.

Goalkeeper Morgan converted a 45 metre free, and Lee Brennan's stoppage time free gave them the lead for the first time and a 0-10 to 0-9 interval lead.

Kerry came out for the second half with intent, with Spillane and Buckley adding to their tallies, but with McShane and Brennan also continuing to find the target, the Munster men were unable to get their noses back in front.

They went level three times in the opening ten minutes of the second half, but Brennan's accuracy from placed balls favoured Tyrone's cause, with Frank Burns further enhancing his growing reputation with an eye-catching display at the back.

Peter Harte emerged as a major figure following a quiet opening half, setting up the scores that kept his side in front, and in the 56th minute, Tadhg Morley dragged down substitute Conor Meyler for a penalty, which Ronan O'Neill kicked wide.

But the Ulster champions did hit the net in the 58th minute when Harte and McShane combined for midfielder McClure to palm home.

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-01, f); C McCarron, R McNamee, A McCrory; R McNabb, F Burns, R Brennan; D McClure (1-01), C McShane (0-03); M Donnelly (0-01, P Harte, C McCann (0-01), K McGeary (0-01), L Brennan (0-05, 4f), R O'Neill (0-03, 3f).

Subs: D Mulgrew for McGeary (52), C Meyler for McCann (55), P Hampsey for McCrory (59), C McAliskey for Meyler (61), M McKernan for Hampsey (63), B Burns for F Burns (70)

Kerry: B Kelly; B O Beaglaoich, J Foley, T O'Sullivan; C Coffey (0-01), M Griffin, M Geaney (0-01); J Barry, D Moran; M Burns (0-01), D Casey (0-01), K McCarthy; K Spillane (0-05, 5f), J Buckley (0-02), S O'Brien (0-02).

Subs: E O Conchuir for Burns (h-t), T Morley for Geaney (h-t), B O'Sullivan for Casey (60), M Flaherty (0-01) for Buckley (68), G Horan for Moran (68)

Referee: M Deegan (Laois)
How many of ye have local radio or does your county board stream their own games such as Armagh TV?
I know Donegal have Highland Radio and a lot of counties would do the same but are they moving over now to pay for live TV streaming for a one off subscription? is the main one in Tyrone and most would agree provide a great service for free but at the weekend the county board decided to suddenly ban their coverage of the county final at the last minute as they themselves were bringing on board a new streaming service for a fee of £8 to watch it live.
Do your ex pat fans depend on this service online to stay in touch with local GAA back home?

Just wondering do other counties do something similar?

How many Tyrone ones on here signed up on Sunday and how many were annoyed it wasn't on TTM for free?
General discussion / Anyone from Tipp who want to help
August 15, 2018, 04:12:03 PM
Hi lads and ladies
I bought a car last July in the UK and brought it to the North but now I want to import it into the South.
I live in Dublin but wondered could I register it in Tipperary as I like the new T number plate

Would I need to use someone who lives there to register it for me or can I use their address?
Do they need a utility bill etc for that?

181 T SAM would be nice though.  ;)
Sorry lads.
I seemed to have deleted the thread by mistake.
If any mod can restore please do so.
General discussion / Naples and Napoli FC
March 27, 2018, 04:56:35 PM
Many of ye ever been to Naples?
A group of us are off on Friday week for 3 nights.
Any advice or comments would be welcome.

I hear it can be dangerous enough at night time and to watch out for pick pockets
Anyone got a yacht they're not using that weekend off the Amalfi coast?

Any AIG workers?
Hi All

We, The Tyrone Association Dublin (TAD) are hosting a gala night in Croke Park Cusack stand premium level to recognise the efforts of our U17, senior men and senior ladies teams of 2017.
All details can be found below. Tickets are €60 each and a good night is expected.

Anyone interested email or PM me here. No AIG are not sponsoring us but if you work for them and want to sponsor us that would be great.  ;D ;D ;D
Two teams talked about to clash for the past few years.
Both had easy tuns do far and untested
Both drew with each other in the league

Against Derry Tyrone led 0.10 to 0.05 at HT.
After 50 mins it was 0.14 to 0.08

Against Donegal they lead 0.12 to 0.05 at HT
After 50 mins is was 1.14 to 0.06

Against Down they lead 0.07 to 0.05 at HT
After 50 mins is was 1.14 to 0.07

Today Tyrone lead Armagh 1.08 to 0.04 at HT.
Dubs held Monaghan to just 3 points yet people see Tyrone as being more defensive.

Tyrone end their game with 3.17 yet talk will still be about lack of forwards.

To be honest I've no idea how this game will fair out but my kids are worried.
General discussion / Watching Sky Abroad
July 27, 2017, 12:00:20 PM
I'm going to be in Britanny North France for the Tyrone 1/4 final game which is live on Sky Sports

I see Sky have changed all their channels now so it looks like it will be on this new Sky Main Events channel.

I tried contacting a good few pubs in Quimper, the town I'm going to, to see do they have sky sports but none seem to have the SKY package but a few say they can access the internet on their tvs and watch games that way.
Just wondering does anyone know the story or would I be better bringing my own tablet and watching it through Sky Go as I do have that though I'm not sure do they let you access live TV outside of the UK & Ireland?

By the way, I had to walk around 5 or 6 different pubs in Dublin 1 area last Sat to find one with sky sports for the GAA. Looks like a lot more pubs aren't doing it any more.
Some Friday fun I thought but of course I'll Decide did intend decide to be the first to paste in Peters top 10 and spoil it for everyone else.

So here we go again take 2 and try not to mess up everyone else's though processes this time.

Peter Canavan reveals who he believes are the top 10 footballers in the country

But before I reveal Peters 10, who would you go for or at least your top 5?

I wonder who will be the first smart arse to post Peter's top 10

Jog went for
Peter Harte
James O'Donoghue
Aiden O'Shea
Diarmuid Connolly
Michael Murphy

Please tell me he doesn't have Cian O'Sullivan in it ?!

Taylor went for..
Oops I lost your Taylor. Sorrry!

Maroon Manc said

In no particular order with little time to think about it and I'm one short.


GAA Discussion / 2017 Season - Where are we at?
July 03, 2017, 01:04:31 PM
Well with the first provincial final over and Dublin likely to join Kerry in the quarterfinals in two weeks time, what have we learned so far this year?

I suppose Kerry's win yesterday was of no surprise but Kerry's full forward line of Geany, Donaghy and O'Donoghue sure will cause a lot of worry in the months ahead. Kerry looked strong at midfield too with Anthony Maher in fine form and Buckley doing well when he came in too.

Donegal and Monaghan were probably the biggest surprises of the summer so far with many expecting them to do a lot better this year. Tyrone looked amazing in their two games to date but you would have to wonder how much of that was down to their opponents. If they continue such form it will promote them as real contenders again which many in the media seem to be doing already.
Down however, will hold no fear of Tyrone and will try to outmuscle them like they did Monaghan.

Mayo yet again seem to be struggling in the earlier months of the summer and were far from convincing on Sat night v Derry who really put it up to them. A bit like Donegal who was dominating Ulster, Mayo have lost their way in Connacht but as we saw last year they can still rally around and get to the latter stages. 2010 was the last time they didn't make it to the AI semifinals & 2010 was the last time Donegal were not in an Ulster final.
Some people seem to think Galway could kick on this year and maybe go one step further than last year.
They seem to have found a better balance between attack and defence and it will depend who they meet in a quarterfinal, should they get that far.

Dublin of course are still most people's favourites and they continue to win easily playing a lot of their second string players. Most would expect a Dublin v Kerry final this year and judging by how they've both done so far that does indeed look likely.
Kildare will certainly give the Dubs more to think about that Westmeath did but I would expect Gavin to start bringing back his more regular starters and win with a bit to spare.

I think the one positive thing so far this year is that teams seem a bit more intent on attacking more and not focusing so much on blanket defence. The mark certainly seems to have a positive impact with a lot more teams kicking it long to their big men in midfield which in turn is making the game much more direct with less hand passing up the field.

Name your last 8.

Jim McGuinness takes assistant role to Roger Schmidt in China
Former Donegal manager leaves Celtic to join former Bayer Leverkusen coach in Beijing by Keith Duggan

Former Donegal senior football manager Jim McGuinness has accepted a position as assistant coach with Chinese club Beijing Sinobo Guoan.

He was offered the post by Roger Schmidt, the former Bayer Leverkusen manager who was announced as Beijing's new manager early in June. McGuinness, who has been part of the coaching staff at Glasgow Celtic since 2012, will travel to Beijing on Saturday to take up his new role on Monday.

"It's a fantastic opportunity," he said yesterday. "It's a level up for me and a great honour to be asked. Roger is a really prestigious European coach and just to be part of his management team is a great privilege. I also feel that it's great timing in terms of taking the next step forward in my own coaching career.

"In terms of Celtic, every decision that was made was with their knowledge. Dermot Desmond, in particular, was implicit in any decision made. And I'd like to think that the umbilical cord won't be cut. Everyone in the club has been hugely supportive and hopefully I will return there someday as a better coach."

He has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with Beijing, which is the period for which Schmidt has agreed terms. The offer came out of the blue but McGuinness had met with the German on several occasions over the past two years after being invited to Leverkusen by one of the club psychologists he met in Bilbao two summers ago.

"I happened to mention that I found Leverkusen's style of play very interesting as Roger was one of the coaches whose approach I was studying very closely. And then we met at one of their Champions League games. And he was very generous with his time. He gave me a few hours on the afternoon of the game


"They were one of the few football teams that play very direct and intense football predicated on intensity. It is about asking questions of the opposition and trying to overwhelm them and never allowing them to settle. And I was drawn to that. We stayed in touch through email.

"Then I got a text from Roger at the beginning of the summer to say he was going to be in Dublin to meet a sports firm. We met in the airport in Dublin and spent a few hours ahead of his flight to Germany and he walked me through his game plan and style of play. We just had a really good conversation. I feel that we think similarly and share core principles.

"And at the end he asked me to show him Gaelic football because he was curious about it. So we watched the highlights of the 2012 final [when McGuinness's Donegal beat Mayo 2-11 to 0-13]. The chat was very positive and strong and gravitated towards maybe some time we can work together. And then last week, I got a phone call asking if I would be interested."

Beijing Guoan won the Chinese Super League for the only time in 2009 and were runners-up in 2014. They play in the 66,000 seat Workers' Stadium and are among the 16 clubs who feature in a league that has begun to attract high-profile players and managers from Europe.

They are currently sitting seventh in the Super League, after an underwhelming opening which led to the sacking of Jose Gonzalez and the appointment of Schmidt.

For McGuinness, this is the latest chapter of what has been a rapid ascent through the world of sports coaching since he took charge of the Donegal under-21 team ahead of the 2010 campaign. That team finished as runners-up in the All-Ireland final to Jim Gavin's Dublin. McGuinness was appointed as senior manager in the autumn of 2010.

When he stepped down four years later, Donegal had won the 2012 All-Ireland and three Ulster titles with a style of play which had a radical influence on the game in general.

McGuinness was offered a role with Celtic in 2012. He originally worked as a psychology coach but was coaching Celtic's under-20 team this season. He has retained his association with Gaelic games through his work as a championship analyst, including a weekly column with The Irish Times which he intends to continue throughout this year's championship.

"It is kind of surreal," he said of this latest appointment. "But it does feel like part of that original journey with Donegal because anything that has happened was borne out of that energy that started with the under-21s. And there is no separation there.

"And I am incredibly thankful for that. In fact, one of the reasons that this was an easy decision for me is that Beijing wear green and gold and the number 1992 is on their club crest. So some stars have to be aligning there."

Huge career move for Jim and I am shocked tbh as I know him, his wife & kids and am surprised they're all leaving dear old Donegal. It was a lot easier to travel from Glasgow to Glenties for them but to move to China is huge. Congrats Jim
GAA Discussion / Cork v Kerry 2nd July 2pm
June 28, 2017, 02:34:23 PM
With Donegal and Monaghan out of Ulster and Mayo out of Connacht, could there be another shock this Sunday in Killarney?
2012 was the last time Cork beat Kerry and having given up their home venue again most would expect an easy enough Kerry win. Especially with Cork's struggle to beat both Tipperary and Waterford.
Usually Cork beat them when at home but their last game in Pairc ui Chaoimh they got hammered 0.12 to 0.24 though they managed a draw the following year in Kllarney.

Cork's new paircuichaoimh stadium looks very impressive and I presume it will be the 2nd best stadium in the country when complete.
Another interesting read from Jim McGuinness where he points out how so many counties now are struggling to live with the top 3 or 4 counties in the country. Teams like Cork, Armagh, Down, Galway and Meath have been left behind in the past 5 years or so whereas they used to be contenders at some stages.

From chatting to an older man I know, Kerry always had money to spend from big fund raisers in the US etc and often had better training organised compared to most counties.

From today's Irish times
Jim McGuinness: All counties equal, but some more equal than others
Amateur? Like Mr Seligman's dogs, most counties feel there's nothing they can do

We were in the television studio in Portlaoise early on Saturday so I got a perfect view of Dublin as they pulled into the ground. Everything about their arrival was impressive.
On the drive down, I noticed that the All-Ireland champions were 200/1 on to win and that Carlow, meanwhile, were 33/1. The scale of the odds disturbed me.
Everyone reads Animal Farm at some stage in school and there is a reason why that line about all animals being equal, but some are more equal than others, has become so widely quoted. You see it in all walks of life. More than ever, it has become the governing truth of Gaelic football.
Everything about Dublin's arrival looked sleek and polished and purposeful. It was an operation. The coach looked good. You could see they had a big support staff in their ranks. The players went about their business; the coaching staff prepared the pitch for their pre-match drills. Everyone had a clearly defined role and they followed it.

And on one level, it was wonderful to see the best team in an amateur sport achieving such a level of sophistication. Dublin have done everything possible to improve themselves as an entity over the last decade and this arrival was a visible manifestation of that.
It reminded me of the way Celtic operate on away days. But then you remember that the GAA is supposed to be an 'amateur organisation'. Maybe the definition of that term needs to be revisited now. Because there are at least two levels within Gaelic football now and the higher tier bears a scant resemblance to the meaning of amateurism as we used to understand it.
So I watched the teams warming up and wondered how we got to this point and where Gaelic football is going. I think the majority of counties are on the verge of relinquishing hope. And I believe that GAA headquarters needs to hold an intervention to save Gaelic football from itself.

There is no real opportunity for most young players in the majority of counties to excel
It is becoming obvious that the vast majority of county boards either don't have the willingness or the knowledge of how to live with the small group of elite counties that have set the standard for the past decade. So what can be done?
During the week, I caught some of a debate on the British election in which Jeremy Corbyn was hammering home the need to scrap tuition fees so that kids from all walks of life could get a fairer chance of a good education.
The statistics showed that kids from less privileged backgrounds just weren't getting the same opportunity in education, and therefore in life, as those from more advantaged backgrounds.
The same argument pertains in the GAA now. There is no real opportunity for most young players in the majority of counties to excel. We could see that in Portlaoise on Saturday. Carlow came with a clear, well-worked game plan and performed with boldness of intent and real courage. They were still soundly beaten by a Dublin team that was in third gear.
Deep down, the players on both sides and those of us watching knew there was a gulf between the sides. It's not about natural ability: it is about all the support systems behind Dublin and the other strong counties. It creates an environment of inequality.
If you are a Division Three or Four player trying to get ready to take on the elite players, how are you supposed to look your opponent in the eye and think: "I am ready for you." You cannot. Because you know that it's a lie.
Studying Dublin's record during the week I was astonished to see that they have lost just twice in Leinster since 2004. That has been turning around in my head ever since. It's a dizzying thought.
The world was a very different place 13 years ago. At that time, there was no inkling of this separation or gulf defining Gaelic football. But that is what has happened.
Tyrone prised their foot in the door around then and established themselves as a top-tier county. Their first All-Ireland success, coupled with an incredible fund-raising culture, enabled them to build a state of the art facility and put a huge emphasis on coaching. They laid success for subsequent generations to walk in the door to a system and culture that is in place.
Tyrone's centre of excellence in Garvaghy.
Tyrone's centre of excellence in Garvaghy.
Kerry's biggest feature is that kids in that county aspire to wear the jersey. Mayo has a very strong football tradition and are driven by the hope of emancipating the county from the pain of coming so close so often. Galway has an assured sense of its own place. Donegal have managed to thrive after making a breakthrough in 2012, but I would be less certain of their ability to stay in that top tier unless football is resourced properly at board level.
The point is that all of these counties thrive on a kind of cause. It's what creates the internal energy. Most counties don't have that resource right now.
In 1997, I went I went down to Tralee to college. We won the Sigerson the following year.
The competition was actually held in Tralee. Because of that, we stayed in Killarney to prepare and we were put up in a very nice hotel. I remember that when we arrived, there was a flip chart in the corner of the meeting room and every single waking hour and detail was accounted for. I had never seen that at club or county level before. It was a level of organisation and a professionalisation of attitude instilled by Val Andrews and, later, Vinny O'Shea.

People made sacrifices. Moynihan was driving over from Glenflesk for 7am sessions
So we won the thing three years in a row. UCC were our big local rivals. When we would play, they often chanted "Come on, College." The message was that they were playing for a proper university while we were "IT" students.
The 1999 Sigerson was played in Belfast. In the Queen's students union on the night we were celebrating, the UCC lads started singing "Ye bought the Sigerson." And the Tralee gang was singing back "We've got the cup and we can't get rid of it."
It's well known that the Tralee team was stacked with All-Ireland winners and players like Michael Donnellan, Seamus Moynihan and Pádraic Joyce. And we all got scholarships and we walked into this terrific training system.
Now, people made sacrifices. Moynihan was driving over from Glenflesk for 7am sessions. It wasn't a professional set up. But in a way, we did buy those Sigersons through the quality of the set-up. The other teams weren't in a position to match what Tralee had just then. That's what is going on an inter-county level now.
Next summer, the Super Eight will be the big innovation. I'd really love to know what the GAA thinks that term "Super Eight" says to the other 25 counties. I feel it will further convince them to believe that there is nothing they can do about the situation.

In the late 1960s, an American psychologist named Martin Seligman carried out a series of experiments using dogs grouped in harnesses who were subjected to electric shocks. One group could end the shocks by pressing a lever with their paws. But the third group could not and learned to believe that the shocks were inescapable.
In the next part of the experiment, the same group of dogs were placed in an area divided into boxes with low partitions. They could escape the shocks on one side by simply jumping the partition to the other side. But most of the dogs in the third group still believed they could do nothing to escape their fate and simply lay down and accepted the shock time and time again.
Seligman termed this behaviour "learned helplessness". I think it describes the attitudes within many county boards right now. They simply exist. They believe that there is nothing they can really do to live with the big counties.
There will always be strong counties. But the GAA can make the game fairer.
Finance is one obvious area that is ripe for reform. The big counties like Kerry and Dublin have terrific brands. But if the GAA is a genuine amateur organisation and if it is proposing its marquee competition, the All-Ireland championship, as a fair contest, then how can four or five counties use their financial worth to shoot past the opposition? In a professional, commercial context, that is absolutely fine. But it is, by definition, unfair in an amateur arena.
What if that money was then pooled centrally and used to set up a nationwide coaching apparatus
What would happen, for instance, if rather than every county chasing its own sponsor, there was one central sponsor of every county in the championship?
Let's say that it is Coca-Cola. So every team, from Dublin to Carlow wears that logo on its shirt. AIG is willing to give Dublin €4 million. Bayern Munich has agreed a deal with Adidas for €900 million over 10 years. So could a uniform sponsorship deliver, say, €10 million to the GAA per annum? Surely that's not too much of a stretch.

What if that money was then pooled centrally and used to set up a nationwide coaching apparatus with a national high performance director and a high performance manager in each county? This would give young players the same access to coaching and benefits at primary, secondary and club level.
What if every county rolled out a nationalised programme incorporating everything from coaching to S&C to nutrition so that they have a chance to be the very best they can be?
I think that would change the mindset immediately. Dublin will always be a strong football county because they have 1.4 million people and they have a system in place now. So too will Kerry. But at least if a county like Carlow has a fairer share of funding, then the standards in those counties will rise.
In 2004, Armagh were probably the envy of most counties. They had a brilliant team and a terrific manager and a clear vision of how they wanted to play. They were driven, conscientious and ambitious. I think they were among the last of the old GAA pattern of an exceptional team "coming along" every so often.
The county gets a lift and interest becomes intense and then that team fades and things quieten down again.
Those rules don't apply any more to the elite counties. This particular Dublin team will fade. But Dublin as an entity won't. I believe the same is true of Kerry and also Tyrone.

After that, it becomes more difficult to predict. I think there is a distinct danger of Gaelic football reflecting the hurling championship, with a handful of counties playing on an entirely different plane.
Like Mr Seligman's poor dogs, have come to feel that there is nothing they can do about it
But there is also a bleaker possibility that the entire championship will be reduced to a two-horse race. The best counties will keep pushing boundaries and trying to improve. Why wouldn't they? They would be crazy not to.
The opposite will become true for those counties who, like Mr Seligman's poor dogs, have come to feel that there is nothing they can do about it. They will lie there and accept their fate. We have seen this happen in too many championship games already this summer and there is worse to come.
The GAA must either act fast to change the collective thinking or else give up the pretence that the championship is a competition open to all counties.
After a rather uninspiring performance from Tyrone yesterday over old foes Derry, most Donegal fans would be thinking they are in a strong position to detyrone the current Ulster champions.
However, news from some club games in Donegal came through that both Michael Murphy and Neil McGee had to come off injured yesterday.
It's unsure how bad their injuries are but if Murphy is not available or not 100% fit it will be a big loss to Donegal.

However, on local radio this morning the Donegal management said they expect both players will be OK and back training soon.

Paddy McBrearty only came on in the second half in Donegal's win over Antrim, yet he still scored 1.02
Donegal scored 3.19 at home to Antrim whereas Tyrone failed to score a goal again in their 0.22 to 0.11 win.

Donegal will probably start as favourites as they finished the league strongly and look a lot fresher and attack minded compared to last year.
However I would still expect a defensive tactical battle between the local rivals similar to last year's Ulster final battle.

I wonder how Monaghan would prefer in the final or will we get a surprise from that side of the draw?