Sport and all that Jazz

Jim McGuinness (v Kerry) 2

Thank you Jim for everything!

I got a phone call last Friday night at midnight (thanks Garbhan) with the news that Jim McGuinness had left the Donegal set up.
Even though I did believe he was going to leave, I must admit it still came as a shock that it was really happening, Jim was finally packing it in.
Regular readers of this column will know that I have nothing but the utmost respect for Jim McGuinness and the sensational job he has done over the last four years.
To win three Ulster titles, an All Ireland title and get to another All Ireland final is a phenomenal achievement given the fact that Jim took over when the county team was at an all time low.
He won 20 of his 24 championship games and he gave myself and thousands more Donegal supporters around the county some of the best days of our lives.
Jim’s most important achievement in my view was that he brought a tremendous sense of pride back to the Donegal jersey.
Every player in a Jim McGuinness team was willing to give every last ounce of energy. Not just for themselves, not just for their team-mates, not just even for Jim McGuinness himself but for the people of Donegal and as supporters in the stands witnessing the sheer effort and determination from the players, we felt a tremendous feeling of pride. Yes, the success was great but to know that these boys were giving everything they had for their county meant even more to us as supporters.
It is important not to forget the players who have given so much in all of this, but at the same time, without the genius that is Jim McGuinness we would never have had the success and the joy of the last four years.
I’m sure I speak for every Donegal supporter when I wish Jim McGuinness all the best in the future in whatever he decides to do. I have absolutely no doubt he will have a top class career in professional sport (he may even manage Celtic) although at the minute that may not be the wisest move!
Thank you Jim for everything.

 

This may sound mad, but I would give the job to Michael Murphy!

Yes, I know, he is only 25, he is in the prime of his playing career, it would be wild pressure on a young man, I get all this I really do.
Michael Murphy though is no no ordinary 25 year old. He is a man who has 100% respect from every single man in the Donegal panel and in the county as a whole.
Think about it if you will for a minute. It looks like a lot of senior players (McGee, Lacey, Durcan, Gallagher, Toye, McFadden etc) are all considering their future. If Michael Murphy gets the job then I would bet that most, if not all of these boys would stay on.
Nobody will ever be able to replace Jim McGuinness, we all know that, but in Michael Murphy I honestly believe we have the next best thing.
Murphy will have learned so much from McGuinness over the last five years with both the u21s and the seniors. He will be able to keep things going in a similar way, he can keep a certain level of continuity in the camp.
I am not suggesting for one minute that Murphy should give up his playing career as I still believe he is the best player in the country. I am saying we should have Murphy as the figurehead, the leader both on and off the pitch and hold onto the services of Paul McGonigle, John Duffy and Damian Diver who know all about the ‘system’ as Jim so often referred to. In other words, why try and fix something that isnt broken?
Another very important point that people will not really have thought about is this ; Jim McGuinness had serious pulling power when it came to securing vital funding from businessmen in Donegal. Would a Rory Gallagher, a James Horan, a Maxi Curran have that same appeal? I doubt it very much, but I do know one man who is as well respected in Donegal as Jim McGuinness!
Give the job to Murphy, sure it’s a no brainer really when you think about it.

 

Roy Keane’s book: It’s just confirming what we already knew, Roy Keane is a nut job!

Regular readers will know all about my thoughts on Roy Keane. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t be his biggest fan.
This latest book he is about to release is simply confirming what we already knew, even all you Man Utd die hards who think Keane is God Almighty himself have to admit that the man is not near the mark, sure he admits it himself for god sake. “That’s the self-destruct button. I don’t know if it’s low self-esteem. Things might be going really well, and I don’t trust it: ‘It’s not going to last,’ or ‘Why am I getting this? Why are things going so well? I’ll f**k things up a little bit, then feel better myself.’ I might be buying a car: ‘Who do you think you are buying a new car?’ And I’ll f**k it up. I’ll drag things down around me.
Keane is admitting here, that even when things are going perfectly well, he still feels the need to mess things up a little. “I’ll drag things down around me.” In other words, I couldn’t care less what happens to anyone else as long as I can sort my own madness. Yes Roy, we all know that you are a self centred individual and we didn’t need you to write another book to figure it out.
‘There are things I regret in my life and he’s not one of them,’ said Keane.
This is Keane talking about the disgusting tackle that ended the career of fellow professional Alf Inge Haaland. Surely this was a chance for Keane to come out and say, look I shouldn’t have done that and I’m sorry, but I’m not surprised to be honest. In typical Keane fashion he has no regret whatsoever about ending the career of a fellow pro.
A self proclaimed nut job and a thug and still half the country loves him, what does that say about us as a nation??

 

Road: A great show but I’m sorry, these men are insane!

I watched a very interesting documentary on Monday night about the Dunlop family from Armoy in Northern Ireland.
Brothers Joey and Robert were two of the best motorbike racers of all time while Robert’s sons Michael and William have kept the Dunlop name going by becoming two fine racers in their own right.
Don’t get me wrong here, these men came across as very decent people.
This may sound very harsh to anybody reading but I feel that these men were very selfish people who only cared about winning races, nothing else mattered. This is fine if you are a footballer, a golfer or a rugby player for example but when you are riding bikes at speeds of 150mph and more on open roads then the chances are you will end up either seriously injured or worse.
Joey and Robert were both killed in action and left broken hearted families behind. Joey was 48 when he died while Robert was 47.
Both men said in the documentary that they would prefer to die on a motorbike as opposed to being sick for months.
This was their own choice and they are idolized for it but I’m sorry I would rather die of old age to be honest.
I strongly believe that this so called sport should be banned everywhere as there are simply too many people losing their lives, it’s madness it really is.

 

Make sure you get next weeks Inishowen Independent to see what Gerard McLaughlin has to say next!