A new unauthorised biography of Eamon Dunphy, which will be in the shops tomorrow to coincide with Euro 2012, may have the veteran commentator screaming foul. The 350-page tome is a fair but critical assessment of his punditry career and some of his attitudes over the years, written by a former footballer.
Dunphy is likely to view it as badly offside, however, given that he's currently working on his own memoir which is due out in the autumn.
The new unofficial biography, Dunphy: A Football Life, charts the intriguing and occasionally humorous course of Dunphy's time in football, beginning with his playing days in a succession of English lower-league clubs. It discusses his provocative stances on the Jack Charlton years, the Saipan controversy, Roy Keane and Giovanni Trapattoni. And it also includes some politics.
Author Jared Browne was a talented young footballer who had trials at Manchester United and Liverpool and played for Ireland at under 15 level; now a qualified solicitor, he lives in Kerry.
The book is critical of Dunphy in places, but Browne has a very high regard for him. "Nobody does frustrating inconsistency and blatant contradiction quite like Eamon Dunphy," he says. "Considering his obvious stature in Irish life, I felt that a comprehensive book that would evaluate his career had to be written."
* * * * *
WHEN it comes to the business end of Euro 2012, when a few penalty shoot-outs might reasonably be expected, the rival managers will be hoping that they have someone resembling Sligo Rovers' goalkeeper Ciarán Kelly between the sticks. Kelly's uncanny ability to win penalty shoot-outs was demonstrated in the last two FAI Cup finals and would certainly be an asset to Giovanni Trapattoni if it came to a repeat of that famous occasion in Genoa at Italia '90.
Kelly's former team-mate Aaron Greene, now with Shamrock Rovers, extolled the virtues of the 'keeper in a recent interview for the Hoops' programme.
"Last year, me and Eoin Doyle would stay after training and take penos with him," he said. "Seriously, if you took 10 each he'd probably save five. Surely a 'keeper shouldn't be saving even five? He is frightening.
"He didn't play in the EA Sports Cup semi-final when we got beaten on penos. I was standing beside him, and he called every one of the Derry penos by watching their run-up. Unbelievable!"
* * * * *
We are indebted to Paudie O'Riordan who took the time to write the following:
"As you enjoy (and hence your readers) short sports items with an ironic twist, did you note the crash of Conor Daly in a Lotus in the GP2 race at Monaco?
"Conor being an American citizen might obscure the fact that his father is the great Derek Daly who was involved in an even more spectacular crash in the 1980 Monaco F1 race driving a Candy Tyrrell. Both are available on YouTube."
* * * * *
The AFL's staging rule is like a bus, you wait ages for a player to fall foul of it and then two come along at once.
The rule was brought in two years ago to stop players exaggerating or feigning injury to win free kicks but nobody was charged with it until two weeks ago. Essendon's Leroy Jetta has the dubious distinction of being the first to be charged with staging and last week he was joined on the naughty step by Ryan Crowley of Fremantle.
The AFL even released a video with four examples of staging offences back in 2010, but despite numerous incidents being highlighted on TV shows, it's taken them two years to punish someone. Both players have received written warnings but if they don't heed them they will be fined Aus$1,600 and Aus$2,400 for further offences.
Maybe the Premier League could learn a thing or two from the staging rule but they would have to add a few zeros to the fines.
John Spain, Seán Ryan
and Aisling Crowe
Sunday Indo Sport