Sunday 4 December 2016

Kerry's hardy annuals always get to the party

Published 06/09/2009 | 00:00

The music has stopped and there are two left on the dance floor. In two weeks the foxtrot will decide who wins the watch. Like the TV ad says, losers go home. And with nothing but regrets. Sounds cruel yet it is the reason which makes winning great and if losing does not hurt hard, then your heart is not really in it.

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As always, the cream rises to the top. The three best teams ended up in the semi-finals. Meath tried to storm the party but are not yet in the heavyweight division. So it is back to the drawing board and, being optimistic by nature, I see the glass as half full even if structural reform in Meath is long overdue. Without it, success comes more by chance than design.

As I see it, there are two counties who plan very much for success, Tyrone and Kilkenny, while in Kerry it is just part of the cultural fibre. Planning for success is a co-ordinated approach across schools and underage levels, as well as ensuring a match programme at adult club level which may have to bend to suit the county team but ensures continuity in some types of fixtures while county players are absent.

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