Saturday 21 October 2017

Mature students give lift to colleges

IT'S a sign of the times that so many people are returning to college or eyeing up different career options and two well-known and established inter-county players that we can soon expect to see in Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cup action are Tipperary hurler Paul Kelly and Kerry footballer Paul Galvin.

Kelly is already studying to be a PE teacher at the University of Limerick and it's been reported that Galvin is set to sign up for a fashion buying course at Dublin Institute of Technology next month.

Both players are 31 and the early run-outs would give them a good base for the season ahead as they bounce back from injury. In turn, their participation would give the higher education competitions a huge lift in profile at a time when competitions like the McKenna and O'Byrne Cups receive greater media prominence.

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GAA legend Paddy McCormack won four Offaly senior football championships with Rhode but after the first win he transferred to Croghan for a brief stint. While there, he captained the senior team and played against his former club who were captained by his brother Brian. Two brothers captaining opposing senior teams in the same county, now that must be a rare occurrence.

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German football side Dynamo Dresden's recent trouble over the naming rights of their stadium makes the Aviva Stadium/Lansdowne Road controversy seem minor in comparison. Their home is now called Lucky Gas Stadium after the operators of the ground signed a sponsorship deal with a natural gas company called Lucky Gas.

Many critics say it is problematic in light of Germany's Third Reich history and Nora Goldenbogen from Dresden's Jewish community said: "For me, it is an insensitive name for a stadium because it could result in such misunderstandings."

City hall looked into legal routes to make use of its right to block the name should it be considered immoral but failed to make any headway.

The Dynamo Dresden team merely rents the stadium, so they did not have a say in the new name. The operation of the stadium has been farmed out to a company called Sportfive GmbH which is based in Düsseldorf and it is unlikely that the name will be changed.

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THE Waterford footballers may have achieved history by making Division 3 last year but by the look of things it's only now that the serious battle will start.

Long-serving Stephen Cunningham has retired after 16 seasons and wing-back Paul Ogle has joined him after almost a decade with the side. Both Conor McGrath and Niall Hennessy, two of last year's starting team, have emigrated. Top scorer Liam ó Lionáin will miss most of the league with a leg injury, captain Tony Grey is also sidelined with a shoulder problem while Gary Hurney has yet to rejoin the squad.

Plenty of setbacks then, but all is not lost. They take their place in a competitive division where any team could yet emerge. And if they beat out-of-form Wexford in their league opener, who says their golden run cannot continue?

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Following the recent decision by the GAA's management committee to undertake a feasibility study into the use of Hawk-Eye technology , we here at From The Stands are wondering which Gaelic games commentator will be the first to acknowledge a score with the phrase "you don't need Hawk-Eye to see that."

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Talk Sport on Setanta Sports boasted a very worthy panel of guests on Friday night. Professional boxer Andy Lee, Ireland and Leinster rugby player Jamie Heaslip and former Dublin footballer and manager Tommy Carr all partook in a lively discussion on the week's sports agenda.

But the most interesting thing for us was that neither Heaslip nor Lee -- both of whom are at the top level of their respective sports -- had ever heard of each other before going on the show.

Marie Crowe, Damian Lawlor and Patrick Coffey

ssport@independent.ie

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