Category: Archive

Dublin, Galway to square off in U-21 final

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Dublin manager Tommy Lyons wanted the game to be played at Croke Park, but Galway manager John O’Mahony wouldn’t agree.
It’s unusual that the county’s senior managers are also in charge of the U-21s. In most counties there are two different managers, but it plainly makes sense to have the same manager for both teams as it gives the senior manager firsthand experience of the talent that’s coming through.
Dublin have never won the U-21 title, while Galway’s only success was 30 years ago. Dublin have reached the final twice, losing in 1975 to Kerry and in ’80 to Cork. After the latter defeat, Dublin didn’t field a U-21 team for many years.
The Dubs will include senior goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton, Paul Casey, Barry Cahill, Darren Magee and Alan Brogan. Galway can call on seniors Joe Bergin and Kieran Fitzgerald.

Tipperary and Cork, two of the big names in Munster hurling, are searching for new managers. Last week, Bertie Og Murphy quit after just one year in charge of Cork. It has been a bad year in Cork, where the County Board are reluctant to recognize the Gaelic Players Association. Already former
Waterford manager Gerald McCarthy has been linked with the job. Others in the running include Ben O’Connor, who guided Newtownshandrum to success a few years back. He had a spell in charge of the Kerry hurlers. But there will be no developments until County Board Secretary Frank Murphy, probably the most powerful man in the Cork GAA, returns from holiday on Oct. 14
Nicky English also quit as manager of the Tipperary senior hurlers last week. After four years in charge, the 39-year-old English, who is based in
Dublin, stepped down for what he called “personal reasons.”‘ The Tipp County Board tried hard to persuade the former All-Star forward to stay on for
another year, but English stood by his decision to quit. Already a host of names have been mentioned as likely replacements. Ken Hogan and Jack Bergin, who served as selectors with English are in the running, along with current Tipp Camogie manager Michael Cleary. Others in with a chance include Galway-based journalist and former Tipp player John McIntyre, minor manager Paddy McCormack, U-21 manager Noel Sheehy, and Michael Doyle, son of the legendary John Doyle. One Tipp man who has ruled himself out is Dinny Cahill, who says he will stay with Antrim.
In football, Pat Holmes quit as Mayo manager after a relatively unsuccessful three years in charge. Former Mayo manager John Maughan, who is now coaching club side Crossmolina, may return.

Roy Keane continues to dominate every conversation about soccer in Ireland. Now the English FA have set Keane’s disciplinary hearing for Oct. 15, just 24 hours before the Republic play Switzerland in the European Championship at Lansdowne Road. The FA have charged Keane with two counts arising from his controversial tackle on Manchester City’s Alf Inge Haaland at Old Trafford in April 2001. Keane will be charged with deliberately setting out to hurt Haaland and of also profiting from the revelations about the matter in his recently published book. United have yet to decide who they will call in evidence for Keane.

Despite their loss to Armagh in the All-Ireland football final, Kerry have been installed as joint favorites to take the Sam Maguire Cup in 2003. There will be an added incentive for Kerry to put the bad memories of the 2002 final behind them as next year is the 100th anniversary of their first-ever All-Ireland victory.
Kerry and Galway are joint favorites at 6-to-1 to lift “Sam” next year. Newly crowned All-Ireland champions Armagh are rated at 8-1, which are not great odds considering the upsets that we witness in Ulster every year. Tyrone are also 8-1 and you can get 12-1 on Dublin, Cork and Meath.
Meanwhile, Kerry’s next competitive game will be against old Munster rivals Cork in the opening game in the National League at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Feb 2. Maybe they will have found a few new midfielders by then.
Also, Paidi O Se has said that he may step down. The Dingle man dropped a broad hint that he was not in the managerial game for the long haul when he said: “I’m no Mick O’Dwyer or Sean Boylan; there are other things to life. I haven’t had any major discussions with the County Board apart from talking privately to Secretary Anthony O’Keeffe and Chairman Sean Walsh. I will stand back and have a good look at the situation before coming to a decision.”

Bohemians will be hoping to qualify for their second FAI Cup Final of 2002 when they play old Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers in the semifinal at Tolka Park on Sunday. Bohs lost last season’s final to Dundalk at the same venue in April.
On Friday night, Derry City make the long trip to Turner’s Cross to play Cork City. Cork, who are second in the league, have slipped a bit in recent weeks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Derry qualified for the final.
Also last week, Dundalk manager Martin Murray quit after his side were beaten at home by Athlone Town.

George Best has been offered some sort of football role at English club Portsmouth when he has fully recovered from his liver transplant operation.
Portsmouth Chairman Milan Mandaric is an old friend of Best’s. Mandaric was the owner of San Jose Earthquakes when Best played in the U.S.
“George has accomplished lots in the game. I just know he can help at some level,” Milan said.
But Best’s agent, Phil Hughes, says that it will be at least six months before Best will be fit enough to undertake any kind of work.

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Former Kerry player John Kennedy is the new Clare football manager, taking over from Pat Begley. Kennedy, who failed to command a regular place in the great Kerry teams of the 1980s, has been a selector with the Kerry minors for the last few years.
“It’s a huge step up from the minors, but if you are involved in football and you have ambitions, it’s a great honor to be included among some of the people who were mentioned for the Clare job.,” Kennedy said. “I have played under Mick O’Dwyer and selected with Charlie Nelligan, so I think that I have a good share of experience for the job.”

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