Sunday 17 December 2017

Colm O'Rourke: Rebels stay grounded in pursuit of better days ahead

The business end of the league should see teams getting serious, writes Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

spring has arrived at last and there is a real feel of championship weather for the last round of the Allianz League. Normally, I just refer to this competition as the league but I use the sponsor's name all the time now as Allianz have been an incredibly loyal sponsor when the GAA at central level have not exactly covered themselves in glory as regards promoting the second most important competition in the calendar. At a time too when companies must be looking around at ways of saving money, it is surprising that Allianz have hung in there.

Now it may be pushing things a little to say that the league is the second most important thing to a player -- most would opt for a championship with their club and an All-Ireland as the two big ones, some might even debate the order of merit. A bit like the Masters, British Open and the US Open. Which of those is the greatest?

The preparation for the championship is getting fully wound-up with quite a few teams heading off to the sun for a few days to do some intensive training. Athletes do it all the time but there is of course the debate in GAA circles about whether or not teams should stay at home and keep the money in the country.

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