Sunday 11 December 2016

Colm O'Rourke: Rebels possess all-round game to unlock ring of steel

It's 'only' the league but a win today could generate much-needed confidence says Colm O'Rourke

Published 24/04/2011 | 05:00

I n the big field down by the canal this afternoon there will be four teams, two cups and muted celebrations no matter who wins. It would be nice if one of the teams showed some raw passion in victory, just like Real Madrid on Wednesday night, but hopefully they won't drive over the cup on the way home.

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In many ways, the league has become sanitised. Players talk of it being nice to win but they are really thinking of the Championship. Managers with long faces talk of all the hard work that lies ahead. Hopefully some day a manager will go on television and say they are absolutely thrilled with winning and to hell with the Championship, that they intend to live it up and celebrate and will think of the Championship in a week. Winning is about joy, and showing it. There are enough bad days. Whenever a team wins anything in Croke Park they should not be afraid to tell the world how great a feeling it is. Only a small number ever get the chance.

The smallest celebration may come after the top game. Maybe Dublin and Cork see bigger fish to fry but this is a national title and there are only two chances every year to win one. The likelihood is that both sides will be involved in August yet a win at this stage is worth more than a loss in terms of self-confidence, never mind team confidence.

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