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Wily Willie courts an unlikely comeback

A BIT like Willie O'Dea's attitude towards the accuracy of High Court affidavits, this column believes that plagiarism is a grossly exaggerated misdemeanour. Surely is it not the case that to 'borrow' someone else's brilliant idea is the ultimate compliment?

And so, with heartfelt thanks to our friends out in Montrose, let us unveil our bigger and even brasher list of candidates for the 2010 version of Celebrity ... oops, correction ... Curve Ball Bainisteoir.

WESTMEATH -- MICHAEL O'LEARY: Brief high-flyers who will soon crash-land into Division Three ... so before it becomes terminal, they should shop local for this low-cost rent-a-quote. He'll start by looking for a new (hangar) No6. Prepare for boot camp, boys -- and don't expect any free meals after training.

DONEGAL -- MARY COUGHLAN: Has big-time experience as a No2, but has she got the enterprise? Could be about to lose another job -- her own -- which would free her to resume battle with Westmeath's new manager.

DUBLIN -- BILL CULLEN: This guy could sell penny apples in an orchard. He's the quintessential inner-city Dub-made-good. And if it all goes pear-shaped, the Apprentice host knows what to expect: "You're fired!" At which point George Lee can take over for a fortnight during his next career break.

MEATH -- HENRY MOUNTCHARLES: So you think the Royals need a touch of west-Brit sophistication? That they should banish the old Eighties stereotype of teak-tough defenders who presumed Slane was an adjective describing the post-match condition of opposing forwards? If so, then Lord Henry's your man. Plus he has his very own amphitheatre.

CORK -- MICHAEL FLATLEY: Qualifies because this half-Yankee Lord of the Prance now lives in a big castle somewhere in the People's Republic. Oh, and he comes on Liam Griffin's recommendation, something to do with hurling being the Riverdance of Sport.

WICKLOW -- DANIEL DAY LEWIS: In full character, of course, preferably in his 'Bill the Butcher' guise from Gangs of New York. Then no one will dare block Wicklow's way to a first Leinster title.

MAYO -- LOUIS WALSH: So, you're looking for that elusive X-Factor? Well, this son of Kiltimagh has made a career out of turning callow youths of dubious talent into perennial chart-toppers. Sounds like just the man for his native Mayo.

OFFALY -- MUNDY: An Teeshock has had his shot at being No1, so thanks but no thanks. Instead, let us recommend the balladeer from Birr. As a man of music, he would appreciate all the 'Blue Mundy' headlines that follow every defeat.

CARLOW -- KATHRYN THOMAS/SAOIRSE RONAN: Joint-managers, and proof that Carlow can boast more famous people than celebrated footballers. They might even get in a spot of travelling to exotic, far-flung locations -- like Croke Park.

KILKENNY -- Despite an extensive trawl of Langton's, no non-hurling person could be unearthed. Next county ...

KERRY -- THE BULL O'DONOGHUE: This guy will go to the ends of the earth to make sure his beloved Kingdom still top the poll next September. So long as it's not economy class courtesy of the Westmeath manager.

CAVAN -- SANDRA BULLOCK: Well, she is from Virginia. And never mind if it's the wrong one. Moreover, Cavan folk aren't renowned for throwing good money after bad, so she can always double-job as the bus driver.

MONAGHAN -- ARDAL O'HANLON: "Hey Dougal, I've got your CV all finished. Listen: 'And on the third day, under my spiritual guidance, the Farney Army shall ascend into Croke Park where they will commit no fouls and raise Sam to the heavens.'

"Are you impressed or what?" ... "Ah, I don't know Ted, it all sounds about as far-fetched as -- what do you call that thing we priests do? Oh yeah, Catholicism."

CLARE -- MARTY MORRISSEY: Listen, any man who can go toe-to-toe with Brian Cody is made of the right stuff. The boundary rider is no more. Say hello to Marty the manager.

WATERFORD -- KEITH BARRY: Maybe he can 'magic' an All-Ireland for the Déise ... and get a few pigs to fly over Walsh Park while he's at it.

LOUTH -- JIM CORR: Unless we all wake up to the bigger picture -- the push towards the "formation of an elite-run totalitarian One World Government with the subjugated masses underneath" (www.jimcorr.com) -- then Kerry and Tyrone will rule forever and Louth will never win another All-Ireland.

TIPPERARY -- SHANE McGOWAN: So, where exactly did you think this famous son of Puckane lost all his teeth?

On the hurling field, of course. The Pogues legend can be guaranteed to kick ass (Editor: "Shouldn't that be kiss ass?"), impose a year-long drinking ban and use all kinds of threats involving rum, sodomy and the lash to make sure his Tipp charges finally supplant the Cats.

DOWN -- IRIS ROBINSON: Apologies to James McCartan, who's barely a wet week in the hotseat, but this sleeping giant needs someone with an eye for young talent, so to speak.

LIMERICK -- WILLIE O'DEA: "Hey lads, I'm available. And I'm not afraid to pull hard! Or get stuck into the muck (raking).

"Now, I suppose I'm going a bit too far when I say this but ... in the current crisis, how come our two best ladies of the night weren't called up to the county panel? Or even a few hookers from Garryowen? Oh, I never actually said that, swear on the Bible. Is that a dictaphone? Holy sweet feckin' déjà vu!"


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