Sunday 24 March 2019

'I just went into the Bohs WhatsApp group and there was about 10 pictures up and plenty of laughing faces'

Dinny Corcoran with Player of the Month award and (inset) on Countdown
Dinny Corcoran with Player of the Month award and (inset) on Countdown
Bohemians’ Dinny Corcoran with his SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month award for February yesterday. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Daniel Mcdonnell

Dinny Corcoran spent his Monday morning in front of the cameras at Dalymount Park. But he was keeping a higher-profile appearance as a secret from everybody at Bohemians.

The 30-year-old was a contestant on Channel 4's Countdown yesterday afternoon, with Irish football fans initially believing they were seeing double after Corcoran was snapped just a few hours previously with his SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month award for February.

He was aware of the clash. Corcoran's Countdown appearance was recorded in November - at the end of last season - but he was notified of the date when it would go out.

The striker didn't tell any of his team-mates and was hoping his outing might go unnoticed, especially as he only featured on a solitary episode and suffered a 97-50 defeat.

Ironically enough, the Countdown conundrum to finish the show was 'Washboard'.

Rearrange the letters and you get 'Bohs Award'. And the numbers round challenged the footballer to get six numbers adding up to 442.

He will be hearing a lot about his appearance over the coming weeks.

"Nobody knew, and I was hoping it would stay that way but I didn't know so many people are tuned into Channel 4 at two o'clock in the afternoon," he said afterwards.

"I just went into the (Bohemians) WhatsApp group there and there was about 10 pictures up and plenty of laughing faces. I'm not looking forward to training later. I'm doomed."

It was actually Corcoran's mother Noelle who put him forward.

"She loves it," he explained.

"I'd always watch it with her and she always thought I was very good at it. She applied and they gave me a date to go over and I said, 'Sure why not?'

"It was in Salford. They flew us over, put us up in the hotel for a few nights. I enjoyed it but unfortunately I got hockeyed on the show, your one (the winning contestant Maggie) was quite good."

Bohemians are still a part-time club, but Corcoran does not work away from football. He minds his son Freddy during the day while his girlfriend works so they save on childcare costs. His old colleague Shane Supple joked yesterday that the daytime TV watcher had been keeping a lot of things quiet.

He's a man of many talents. Corcoran could have gone on a different path in his sporting career.

In his younger days, his GAA skills with St Pat's of Donabate piqued the interest of then Dublin manager Pat Gilroy.

The full-forward wasn't keen. He recalls: "It was a decision I had to make, whether to take it seriously.

"Sometimes I wish I'd given it a crack at the GAA but if I had to give up the soccer, it wouldn't have been worth it. I'm not even much of a Dublin fan to be honest.

"When they're winning All-Irelands, I'm not too interested in it. I'm more of a soccer fan."

Corcoran kept tipping away with Donabate. That landed him in hot water when he made a full-time move to Sligo Rovers and was snapped back playing with his GAA club during a weekend trip home.

His English boss Micky Adams was learning about the quirks of the Irish sporting climate. Corcoran's cover was blown by Dunboyne posting images on their own website.

He's a one-sport man now and Bohemians are reaping the benefits.

Over the winter, he was worried by the familiar pain of key players departing with Supple's retirement one of the major setbacks.

But Keith Long's charges have regrouped by bringing youngsters back from the UK and integrating them into a tight dressing room.

Corcoran now believes they are capable of sticking around at the top end of the table - even though they are competing against full-time teams.

"My opinion has probably changed since we are now five games in and unbeaten. At the start I suppose (the aim was) top half of the table, maybe and push for Europe, but now Europe is a reality.

"I know it's early but I can't see us fading because we've got a good team ethic and a good attitude."

His Countdown run was short lived, but Corcoran is confident there will be more red (and black) letter days to come.

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