Sport and all that Jazz

Page 70 - Donegal v Kerry (Senior Final) 22We just didn’t turn up: It’s as simple as that

We can look back at Sunday’s final and come up with a million different reasons why we lost the game but in my view its pretty simple, we just didn’t turn up.
Too many of the boys picked the wrong day to have a poor game and we were punished for it.
Durcan made the crucial mistake, McGrath was poor, MacNiallais was poor, McHugh was poor, McFadden was poor, Lacey looked shattered as did big Neil and Murphy didn’t get involved in the game as much as he would’ve liked too. In order to win an All Ireland you need the majority of your players to perform and that simply didn’t happen. I honestly believe that some of the players looked physically drained. That same energy and drive that was so evident against Dublin just wasn’t there and it cost us dearly against what I would consider to be an average Kerry team.
Don’t get me wrong I congratulate Kerry on their success completely but I still believe that if we scored that goal chance at the end and forced a replay we would’ve beaten them handy because we certainly would improve on that showing on Sunday.
It just wasn’t to be unfortunaely and that’s sport. We have become so used to winning over the last few years that Sunday was certainly a difficult one to take but we have to somehow find a way to bounce back from this and try to take the positives of this season with us into next season although who will be managing us will also be a major factor in all of that.
The main thing is though and I have said it so many times in this column, these players and this group of people owe this county absoloutley nothing and yes ok, they didn’t perform against Kerry but listen, shit happens in sport and these boys have given us all four of the best years of our lives and for that we should all be eternally grateful.


Jim McGuinness: Where does he go from here?

Jim McGuinness has talked all along about a four year cycle which is now up after Sunday’s defeat to Kerry.
The big question now though has to be, where does he go from here? Will he look at it and think there is another All Ireland in these boys or will he think that the time has come for him to walk away? It’s not as if he will be stuck for a job, as you can be sure that there will be professional clubs looking for his services.
On Sunday I have to be honest and say that I think Jim got some of his decisions wrong. Personally I would’ve kept Darach O Connor on and taken McFadden off. I would’ve taken McBrearty on earlier but at the same time I am certainly not going to slaughter Jim McGuinness.
He will probably say himself that he made a few mistakes but what this man has done for Gaelic football in Donegal is phenomenal and whatever he decides to do, he will have the backing of everybody in this county.
If he does decide to leave then all I can say is good luck to the man who has the nerve to step up to the plate because my god what a job he will have to follow.
I obviously hope and pray that Jim stays on but if not, then I’m sure I speak for everyone in the county when I say thanks for everything Jim.
Yourself and these group of players have given us four of the best years of our lives and you have made us proud to be from Donegal.
Ah Jaysus Jim, don’t go sir, please don’t go!!


Paul Durcan: It’s a mistake that’s all

As sad as this is, Paul Durcan will now always be remembered for the mistake that gifted Kieran Donaghy the second goal last Sunday and was ultimately the difference at the end of the game.
People wont look back and think about all the wonderful games that big ‘Papa’ has played for Donegal. It will just become automatic, think of Durcan and you think of that mistake, sadly that’s just the way we are.
I have always been a big fan of Paul Durcan and ironically enough, it was because I always thought his kicking was so impressive. There have been so many games in the last few years that Durcan’s pin point kick outs have given us the launch pad to go forward and drive at teams.
I have listened to people slaughter Paul Durcan this week and yes ok, he made a mistake and he should be criticised for it but these same people should remember that Paul Durcan has been the best keeper Donegal have ever had. Look back at his save in 2012 against Tyrone. One of the best saves you’re ever likely to see and we went on to win the game by two points, who knows what might’ve happened if he didn’t make that save. Or what about the performance in this years Ulster final when his kicking was out of this world and in my view led to us winning the game.
So yes, criticise him surely (if that’s what you want) but don’t just simply forget about the wonderful years of service he has given our county. Put it this way, I hope to god big ‘Papa’ is back in goal for us next season because if he isn’t then we really will be in bother.


To all GAA people I apologise

I have been informed this week that my comments in last weeks paper in which I referred to Malachy McCann of Buncrana GAA as not being a member of the Grab All Asocciation have caused offence. I want to put it on the record that I did not mean to cause any offence whatsoever, I simply meant it as a joke.
Looking back I can see that people may be upset and for this I sincerely apologise.
I have the utmost respect for Malachy and so many people like him who give their time so freely simply for the love of the game.
I have been involved with the Buncrana GAA club for years and played all the way through underage so I know all about the great work that goes on down there and the amount of free time that so many volunteers are giving, not just in coaching but in every single aspect of the club.
So again, for anybody I have offended with my comments I am truly sorry.


Jimmy’s winning lotto’s

I was absolutely over the moon for my friend Jimmy Bradley who last week bought the winning lotto ticket which saw 13 people in Inishowen claim a huge €375,000 each.
Whenever something like this happens you always here people saying, “it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.” Well I can assure you, in Jimmy’s case this is certainly true. No better man and I hope you enjoy every bit of it lad.
Another man for Vegas boys!!

Make sure to get this weeks Inishowen Independent to find out what Jazza has to say this week!