Thursday 14 December 2017

Inside Back - Where are they now?

Dinny Cahill
Dinny Cahill

DINNY CAHILL (Former Antrim hurling manager)

IT'S hard to believe, but Antrim hurlers were third in Ulster when Dinny Cahill took over as manager in 2001, having been beaten by Derry and Down. However, the former Tipperary hurler didn't take long to turn things round, and they hurled very well to give Tipperary a bit of a fright in the All-Ireland quarter-final in his first year.

The Kilruane-McDonagh clubman was on the Tipperary team for six years, mainly as a wing-back, but he was corner-back in the Centenary Munster final in 1984. "We led for most of the game but were beaten by Cork by four points, after Seánie O'Leary scored a late goal," he recalls.

In 1986, he was at midfield for his club when they won the All-Ireland title on March 16. "It was the day Pat Carroll died. We were coming in at half-time when it was announced over the PA in Croke Park. It meant something to me because I had marked Pat so many times playing against Offaly."

A recall to the Tipperary panel ended the same year when he broke his leg playing for Kilruane, but he continued for the club until he was 40. "Then I got involved with the Tipp minors, and we won the All-Ireland in '96. I was three years with the minors, three Munster titles, and lost the '99 final to Galway."

Managing Antrim, he says, "was a massive commitment, a form of madness, but I enjoyed it. I wouldn't do it now. I left one day early from work and it took me seven hours to get to training."

One of the first problems he had was to unite the hurlers from the Glen and Belfast city. "I had to nurture a good spirit between them. I would mix them in the rooms when we were away, and we put the name, Club Antrim, on it. They were great hurling people."

After Antrim, he guided Portumna to two All-Ireland club titles and then coached St Thomas to their All-Ireland. He's now back with Kilruane-McDonagh, "and still learning about hurling. The way the game has gone is unbelievable, the speed and taking scores from 80 yards out. The skills of the players have improved beyond recognition."

Cahill, who is self-employed making solid wood doors for kitchen cabinets, is 60 now and still keeps an eye on Antrim's results.

"I hope Antrim will benefit from the round robin, but I'm not impressed with the way it's being run. It's as though they are trying to get these teams out of the way because they're not good enough."

Number of the week

626

 The difference in the number of affiliated GAA clubs, according to the list submitted by the Provincial Councils (2,518), and the number of crests on the Club Wall at the GAA museum (1,892)

Quote of the week

'You would think that you accept the rules and you're in the competition or you don't accept the rules and you're not in the competition. Then, everybody would understand it.'

You would think that Arsene Wenger knew more about football

Have Your Say

A poisoned chalice but Moyes flopped

AFTER reading Ciarán Brennan's review of your coverage of David Moyes' departure from Manchester United in Have Your Say last week, I'd like to throw in my tuppence worth.

As a United supporter for 46 years, I wasn't surprised at their poor display. I didn't expect it to be as bad as it transpired, but it's been coming for a while now.

Brennan quotes Eamonn Sweeney saying no one could have predicted such a fall from grace, but I did and have been saying it since Ronaldo left the club. United got £80+ million for him and didn't reinvest it where it was badly needed – midfield.

With Scholes and Giggs not getting any younger, Ferguson had blinkers on when it came to the transfer market: preferring wingers to central playmakers and pathetically citing lack of value as an excuse. Last season's title win was down more to other teams' failings than any dominance on United's part.

Also key areas, like both full-backs, were neglected and, all in all, David Moyes was faced with a poisoned chalice when he took over. But he certainly didn't help himself by making 51 different team selections in 51 games.

Surely continuity is the key to any successful team? Also, he was far too quick to give Rooney a new richer contract when the player's talents are clearly waning. Moyes never convinced me as a potential United manager and I feel Giggs needs a few years' experience under his belt before he assumes control at Old Trafford. Whoever does take over has a huge task on his hands, but if he does it right, lays the right foundations and gets in the key players needed, I'm prepared to wait a few seasons for United to rule at the top again.

Paul McGlade

Sad to see Cats adopt Nash tactics

WHAT a shock to the system it was to see TJ Reid adopt the Kanturk style of penalty-taking at Thurles last Sunday. We, the hurling fraternity, see ourselves as a somewhat distinct species. Now we see a Kilkenny player adopt a style of penalty-taking that was honed on the Gaelic football fields of Duhallow.

What next? Will Kilkenny attempt to regain the All-Ireland title using tactics more at home on the playing fields of Kilcar, Glenties or the Inishowen Peninsula? What must Sim Walton, Lory Meagher, Jim Langton and other deceased Kilkenny freetakers be thinking?

Is nothing sacred any more?

Dermot Kavanagh

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