Sunday 24 September 2017

Sigerson's values lost in time warp

Eamonn Sweeney

A friend of mine used to describe Donegal footballer Jim McGuinness as "Ireland's brainiest man." McGuinness, you see, seemed to forever be playing in the Sigerson Cup and we reckoned all this third-level education must surely have done wonders for him.

There were other players who also discovered the joys of third-level education, and football, at an advanced age, the likes of Anthony Finnerty, Brendan Jer O'Sullivan, Conor Mortimer and Michael Moyles come to mind. But the revelation that Paul Galvin will be playing in the tournament next year for DIT means that the man who introduced the phrase 'skinny jeans' into the lexicon of the GAA follower should set a unique record.

Because Galvin, who won a Munster club title with UCC in 1999 and played in the All-Ireland semi-final against Crossmaglen Rangers the following February, must surely be the first footballer to play colleges football in three different decades. And in doing so he raises questions about exactly who the Sigerson Cup is for.

Galvin is 31 now and will be lining up against, by and large, under 21 footballers. By and large because he won't be the only player who has come to the Sigerson Cup late.

Galvin will be taking a one-year diploma course in fashion buying. His interest in fashion has after all been well documented. But it will surely be an odd experience for the player who will probably be lining up against players he encountered while he was managing St Brendan's, Killarney and they were on the field. It's an anomaly which makes you wonder if the third-level cups might benefit from an age limit so that true undergraduates don't find themselves up against much older opposition.

In other Galvin news, he stalked, stylishly no doubt, out of the Sigerson launch without speaking to a soul even though the organisers had announced beforehand that he'd be available to the media. Paul, there's such a thing as an enigma. And then there's such a thing as an asshole. Don't start getting them confused.

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