Have your Say
Fanning at risk of becoming Dunphy
Typical of your anti-Trapattoni columnist, Dion Fanning, to suggest that nothing could be taken from the result against England in Wembley on May 29. I believe it to be a very creditable performance only marred by a soft goal given away to Lampard by some dreadful defending.
I suggest that had we been hockeyed 3-0 or 4-0 Mr Fanning would be suggesting that there was something to be taken from the result and Trapattoni should be sacked forthwith. We have now beaten a Georgian side 4-0 and hopefully will get a decent result against the Faroes. So lay off Mr Fanning or you risk being likened to that muppet Dunphy.
Big-ball solution for Kilkenny
As a Kilkenny native living in exile, I have to admit that it has become a bit tiresome seeing the team in black and amber winning the All-Ireland senior hurling championship almost every year.
I am more of a soccer man than a hurling supporter but have much admiration for the Kilkenny players of the last few years and their manager Brian Cody, However, Kilkenny have an obvious advantage over their main opponents because there is virtually no football played in their county.
That is a pity because Kilkenny were a strong force in the other years of the GAA and actually won three Leinster senior titles. The last of those was gained in 1911 when Meath were beaten in the final.
I will be following this year's All-Ireland hurling championship and wouldn't be too disappointed if Tipperary or Galway lifted the MacCarthy Cup in September.
Finally, here is a suggestion for Brian Cody whom I wish good health in the coming months. He should become the manager of the Kilkenny footballers and help them to climb back up the ladder.
Irish heroes not getting due credit
As an Irishman exiled in Wales for the last 17 years, I feel compelled to finally express my feelings on the very negative articles on the Irish soccer team.
Only having access to an Irish paper on a Sunday, I was looking forward to some positivity and upbeat journalism in the wake of our well-deserved draw in Wembley against all the odds and some proper incisive analysis of our upcoming friendly and competitive games. Instead, yet again, Dion Fanning continues to write articles which are continually negative and becoming tiresome, doing little to separate themselves from the English mentality of always sniping and criticising at every possible opportunity.
I can assure Mr Fanning that I attended the last Ireland v England game in Wembley and the violence we witnessed in Kilburn when English hooligans attacked innocent Irish supporters and also in Kilburn Tube Station where myself and a group of friends were also attacked.
I am a proud Irishman who spent the best part of 15 years following my country around the world at two World Cups and every friendly and competitive home game during that period. The cost was immense but the memories of those times are priceless. I still follow my country with pride and seeing a player like Robbie Keane convey his passion for his country was a breath of fresh air, truly genuine and from the heart. What great delight I took in seeing him add two well-deserved goals to a scoring record he has already smashed.
Just for once could we finally have a balanced piece of journalism giving the aforementioned legend that is Robbie Keane and a group of players who continue to show pride in the shirt and punch above their weight on the international stage.
Ties that bind rugby tourists
With the British and Irish Lions having embarked on another tour Down Under, it is interesting to note how and when they originated and acquired their nickname.
Oddly enough, three professional cricketers were instrumental in bringing this first touring team, and therefore subsequently the Lions, into being. Members of the 1887-88 England cricket team touring Australia, Alfred Shaw and Arthur Shrewsbury, both of Nottinghamshire, and AE Stoddart of Middlesex felt that rugby players could go on tour just as cricketers did.
On their return to England in 1888, they managed to convince the English RFU that such a tour, would be successful. The RFU gave the enterprise their blessing and the first ever tour abroad by a a British rugby side was arranged for the same year.
Although the team subsequently became known as the British Isles Rugby Union team, it has been called the "Lions" since the 1924 tour of South Africa, when journalists there coined the nickname from the lion symbol on the official ties of the tour party.