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O Se Promises Thrills for Clare

By Cathal Dervan

PAIDI O Se has promised Clare fans an interesting summer next year after he was formally unveiled as the new manager of the Banner County’s senior football team.

“We’ll have a go at it now. We’re here and all I can promise is I’m going to give it my all,” said the former Kerry and Westmeath boss.

“In three weeks’ time I’ll name my backroom team, but I have them in place already. One of them is a Kerryman and the other is a Clareman. We are all looking forward to it.

“I suppose the ‘itch’ got a hold of me. The Clare people came down to me and were so genuine. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going to refuse them. I did something on impulse –- very much like I did when I went to Westmeath.

“I have no idea why. I’m so quare that if it was Fermanagh or Tyrone and if the mood struck me I’d head off and do the job. I made a decision and I have stood by it. I’m there now – let’s get on with the work.

“All I can do is my best. We won a Leinster championship in Westmeath after a year, but I’m not making any promises about the Clare job.”

Writing in his Sunday Star newspaper column this weekend, O Se also backed the idea of professional referees in the GAA. He said. “There is a problem, first and foremost, with how our games are refereed. We have a problem with match officials. We only have a handful at the top level who could be classed as excellent. Beyond that, the standard is pretty mediocre.

“This is an area where I would explore professionalism. I’d pay a referee quicker than I’d pay a player. If we ask amateur footballers to dedicate their year to a goal, ask a manager to give up his life in pursuit of that goal, ask the county board to pony up with the cash to fund the whole project and see it all go balls up because of a bad decision — this is a crazy situation.

“I’d like to see the idea of establishing a professional refereeing structure explored in a bid to improve standards.”

As for player welfare O Se added, “I’d love to see the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) become part of the Croke Park set-up. As a manager, I know that every county could do with a player welfare officer and I’d like to see the GPA oversee that development.

“We have no shortage of useless officials. Why not appoint the ones we need? Why do we need assistant treasurers?

“I support the idea of sports grants for players and proper expenses — including out-of-pocket stuff. I don’t think players should go pro, but nor do I believe that looking after players in this way is professionalism. In my opinion, professionalism is where you are paid a weekly wage. Anything else should be on the table.”

Lights for HQ

CROKE Park’s new floodlights will be launched with the National Football League clash of Dublin and Tyrone on Saturday, February 3, a week before Ireland play France in Six Nations rugby at the same venue.

The Dublin-Tyrone game will also feature the debut of a new undersoil heating system at Croke Park, installed at a cost of some ¤400,000.

“The new system is tried and tested and was installed directly after the ladies’ football final, but anyone who was at the International Rules game wouldn’t have been able to tell that there was work undertaken on the pitch,” said Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna.

“We have an obligation to host the international games and this device will now ensure they go ahead without problems. The only way the games cannot now go ahead is if the weather conditions are totally outrageous with snow in the stands making it too dangerous for spectators to attend.”

Mayo Recruits

NEW Mayo boss John O’Mahony has recruited former Olympic coach Jim Kilty to work with the fitness of his new charges alongside selectors Kieran Gallagher, Tommy Lyons and Martin Carney.

Kilty trained Ireland’s Olympians for 10 years and is also coach to top hurdler Derval O’Rourke.

David Brady is expected to rescind his earlier decision to retire after O’Mahony met with the majority of this year’s squad last weekend.

“As of now, I’ve got no indication from any of them that they’re not willing to be on board in the coming year,” said O’Mahony. “Kevin O’Neill was out of the country at the weekend but from indications that we have got from speaking to him, he’s interested in continuing.

“Similarly with James Nallen, David Heaney, Ciaran McDonald and all these guys.”

Ryan Retires

INJURY plagued full-back Darragh Ryan has confirmed his retirement from the Wexford hurling squad with Paul Codd likely to follow suit in the coming weeks.

“It’s something I’m thinking over at the moment, but really I was only there for a short period this year,” admitted Codd. “It takes a lot of commitment and I don’t believe I’ve the time to give to the demands of inter-county training.

“I’m self-employed which makes it more difficult. I’m mulling over it but it’s doubtful if I’ll be back on the inter-county scene given the fitness demanded nowadays.”

Rory McCarthy is also rumored to be considering his future.

O’Dwyer’s Rule

NEW Wicklow boss Mick O’Dwyer wants to apply his own version of the granny rule and entice Dublin players with Wicklow parents to declare for the Garden County.

“It would be great if we could get a few players whose parents hail from Wicklow,” revealed selector Kevin O’Brien. “There must be a lot of excellent footballers in Dublin with Wicklow parents who are frustrated at not being able to make the Dublin team.”

GAA Shorts

PAT O’Shea has been confirmed as the new manager of the Kerry senior football team, initially on a one year deal due to his commitments as games manager with the Munster Council . . .

MEATH boss Colm Coyle has confirmed that he wants Bray Wanderers goalkeeper and former junior county star Gary Rogers to join his squad for the 2007 season. “He’s keen to play Gaelic football, that’s plain to see. From my point of view I’d love to see him choosing Gaelic but we’ve got to wait and see,” Coyle said . . .

WATERFORD hurling club Mount Sion have suspended their star midfielder Eoin Kelly over comments he made to the media in the wake of their recent Munster club SHC defeat to Toomevara, but he is available to county manager Justin McCarthy. “What has happened between Eoin and Mount Sion has nothing to do with the Waterford team management,” said McCarthy . . .

DELEGATES to the Kildare County Board have voted unanimously to sell their current home ground at St. Conleth Park in Newbridge and move to a new state of the art 26 acre facility at old Connell outside the town . . .

INCOMING Cork boss Gerald McCarthy has confirmed the appointment of Donal Collins, Martin Bowens, Ger Fitzgerald and Cathal Casey as his backroom team for next year’s championship campaign . . .

SENAN Connell has retired from the Dublin senior squad but is to continue playing with Na Fianna despite rumors linking him with a move back to his home club, St. Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh.

Contepomi Honor

INJURED Argentinean star Felipe Contepomi has been named Leinster player of the year for 2005/2006, small compensation for the number 10 as he recovers from the knee ligament injury that will keep him out of the next two Heineken Cup matches.

“I am delighted and proud to be named the Leinster Player of the Year. This award means an awful lot to me. I was thrilled to receive it and will cherish both awards for many years to come,” he said.

“It has been a difficult few days after the injury but I’m confident of getting back soon. I’m already back working on my rehabilitation with our physio, James Allen and the rest of the medical team. Hopefully I won’t be out for the full six weeks, although that is what the textbook says so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Rob Kearney was named as Leinster’s Young Player of the Year.

In other rugby news, Ronan O’Gara has taken a leaf out of Brian O’Driscoll’s book and committed his long term future to Irish rugby after agreeing a new deal with the IRFU that runs up until 2011.

The Munster out-half will lead Ireland’s bid for Six Nations and World Cup glory next year and is also a key component in his province’s defense of the Heineken Cup.

“I am delighted to commit to Munster and Ireland for the next four years, as I feel there is a special bond between this group of players. The support and loyalty of the Munster supporters was obviously a big factor in reaching my decision,” O’Gara said.

“I really look forward to working towards further success with Munster, and to Ireland reaching new goals on the international scene.”

Christian Cullen celebrated his return to the Munster team after a long term injury with the clinching try in their 13-0 Magners League defeat of Connacht at Thomond Park.

 

 
 


 
 
 
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