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No 10: Pat Gilroy

MONDAY: Here at last! This past month has been like living in a Beckett play -- can never remember was it called Waiting for Godot or Heffo? Anyway, the waiting is over and it's none of the above: it's Mickey Harte, undisputed second best manager in Ireland (after Mickey Whelan, may I modestly clarify) and a tactical genius too. Which means I may have to pick our team for the 57th time. Now where's that drawing board?

TUESDAY: One more 6am session marked off and just 12 to go between now and the All-Ireland. Oops, best remember not to repeat that in public -- must start practising my latest, updated, media mantra.

WEDNESDAY: Here's a sneak preview of Friday's gospel according to Gilroy: "As I've said all along, there's a gap to close between ourselves and the top two. I'd also like to clarify that I never actually named Cork in that elusive top-two. They are Kerry plus Tyrone, not necessarily in that order."

THURSDAY: Twenty-four hours to D-Day -- Dublin's dawn-run press conference. Actually, less than 24 hours now: I've brought it forward to 5am -- officially to facilitate a training session afterwards, but really to dampen this blasted hype. I even read some ticket frenzy story the other day. Good grief ...

FRIDAY: Oh, I love it when a plan comes together! Not a sinner in DCU bar, some gormless cub reporter from the Ballyboughal Bugle, and even he was too star-struck to ask any questions. Mind you, my two bleary-eyed 5am fall-guys looked pretty cheesed off, staring into space as the starlings started their dawn chorus.

SATURDAY: Never mind starlings, the thing I'm terrified about right now is startled earwigs. Why am I suddenly planking it? I haven't seen a startled earwig in two long years. Instead, before me lies an army of hyper-active worker ants, toiling away like there's no tomorrow. Except there will be a tomorrow for my brave Dubs, won't there?