28 February, 2011

Coaching the Coaches; 1st March 2011: Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork:

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Tuesday March 1st marks the return of the very popular Coaching the Coaches forum at Rochestown Park Hotel, starting at 7pm. 
Run and organised in conjunction with the UCC sports department, this month's coaching topic is long-term player development, what does it really mean and how do you implement the programme?   The keynote speaker on the night will be Mark McManus.
Strength & Conditioning Coach Mark McManus (above right)
Dr Julia Walsh of UCC, who is the resident expert coach at the forum and club representatives from Nemo Rangers and Ballygarvan GAA clubs, who will speak on their club's interpretation of long-term player development, will join him at the top table.  The presentation will give an overview of the structures required to implement an effective player development program and examples of successful local programmes will be given.  Long-term player development needs a plan and the philosophy for ensuring that club and coaching structures support underage player development and life long engagement in sport and physical activity will be spoken about in great detail.
Practical take home examples will be discussed and there will be presentations from local clubs who have introduced LTPD.  Coaches and club administrators involved at all levels of sport should be aware of LTPD, and be in a position to influence, promote and develop a system in their own club.   This interactive forum will give coaches and administrators the tools and knowledge to get started on the LTPD road to help ensure that they serve and support players in a positive way, ultimately fulfilling their potential in their chosen sport or activity pathway.
UCC Head of Sport Science Dr. Julia Walsh
Mark McManus, currently Health and Wellness Manager at Leisureworld, has an MSc in Strength and Conditioning and has worked with many sports teams, both professional and amateur.
Currently trainer with the Cork hurlers, he has worked for over five years with the IRFU as fitness advisor to Munster rugby, worked with Cork City FC and many other GAA, rugby, basketball and athletes over the past 15 years. Over the past two years he has been involved with the Cork GAA underage development squads, and schools of excellence for football and hurling, implementing programs of development for U14 years through to U17 years in association with Leisureworld.
It has produced a great insight to the need and effectiveness of development programs for player and athlete development at all levels in all sports.

The last two Coaching the Coaches Forum have been oversubscribed, therefore it is necessary you register your intent to attend the event on March 1st by e-mailing esport@eecho.ie to secure your seat.   There is a 10 euro entry charge to cover the cost of staging the event.
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Boxing: Tributes pour in for Coach Austin Carruth: father of Olympic (1992) Gold Medalist:

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2008 Olympic medalist Ken Egan & Austin Carruth
The father of Michael Carruth (1992 Barcelona Olympic Boxing medalist); Austin Carruth has died.
Tributes have poured in for him, after he passed away on Saturday.
Carruth helped steer numerous young boxers to Irish and international honours from the Drimnagh Boxing Club in Dublin.
Austin also guided his son Michael to the 1992 Olympic Welterweight gold medal; Ireland's only ever Olympic boxing gold medal.
Ten-time Irish senior champion and 2008 Olympic silver medallist Ken Egan said he was deeply saddened by the news.
"I remember when I was starting out, I used to go down to the Drimnagh club and Austin was always available for tips and advice. He was always there for his boxers," he said.
"It's a sad day for Irish boxing and Irish sport. Austin was a great coach and a true gentleman. He had a massive influence on our sport. He will be sadly missed."

Tommy Murphy, President of the Irish Boxing Association (IABA) added: "Austin had an enormous influence on Irish boxing. He was a gentleman and a wonderful man to work with. The positive impact he has had at all levels of our sport will never be forgotten."
Former WBA super-bantamweight champion Bernard Dunne said: "I trained in his club on many occasions. Austin was a wonderful man who brought so much to the sport. He will be sadly missed by everyone involved with boxing in Ireland."

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27 February, 2011

GAA: clubs are struggling to survive:

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Cork's Glen Rovers Hurling Club: Stared bankruptcy in the face
Cork city's famous Glen Rovers Hurling Club has escaped a major financial crisis thanks largely to the goodwill of local people. However, many other clubs are in just as bad a financial plight.
Last week, GAA president Christy Cooney issued a stark warning that clubs preoccupied with major redevelopment could suffer financial ruin and have their existence threatened.
National, clubs are on their knees.
Some are in a perilous state but haven't gone public on their woes, while Portlaoise may be in the worst condition of all, left with a whopping €6.5m deficit after a development deal collapsed. Many smaller clubs are battling arrears of over €200,000.
Glen Rovers, the famous GAA club on Cork's northside, have revealed the extent of their difficulties and how they found a way to turn the corner.
Glen Legend CHRISTY RING in action for Cork
Most people are familiar with the club's heritage; a glorious institution that has supplied legends like Jack Lynch, Christy Ring, Denis Coughlan and Tomás Mulcahy. The club serves the resolute, working-class areas of Blackpool and Ballyvolane and in its 95-year existence has met with many triumphs including two All-Irelands, three Munster and 25 Cork Senior hurling titles. But perhaps their most fabled deed was the domestic haul of eight county titles between 1934 and 1941. 
Those rich harvests have since dried up and these days it's off the field that their biggest challenges have been faced. Six years ago, they commenced a major redevelopment: an indoor hurling alley, gym, new dressing rooms, a dedicated referees' room, hurling wall, new pitch and floodlights. The works.
They received a €300,000 Government grant but first had to raise 30 per cent of this themselves. Another €30,000 came from the Munster Council, likewise Cork City Council. Determined, they ploughed ahead despite an obvious shortfall with no guaranteed revenue elsewhere.
As the economy imploded, they knew they'd bitten off more than they could chew and were left with three sizeable loans totalling almost €1m. They sold three sites for €100,000 each, reducing the liability to €700,000, but it didn't prevent their financial health from deteriorating rapidly.
Bar profits that once soared at €95,000 per annum during the Celtic Tiger years slumped to €4,000 as the recession roared, ultimately resulting in the closure of the bar and staff redundancies.
One bank threatened to stop honouring their cheques and the club was warned that it was on the verge of shut-down. Their status worsened to such a degree that upon seeing a sales rep seeking payment one afternoon, an official fled the clubhouse and waited in the top field until the coast was clear. 
Diarmuid McAuliffe, the Glen's vice-chairman and treasurer, recently retired from the chemical industry and now monitors their daily spending -- he assumed the role of treasurer after predecessor, Joe O'Shea, stepped down after six extremely taxing years in the position.
"We've gone through rotten times," says McAuliffe. "Right up to last year, the bank was ringing on a daily basis. We'd been with Ulster Bank since 1975, but we were under savage pressure. We had three or four loans and I remember wondering at an AGM one night whether the message was sinking in. There were about 150 people there.
"I just stood up and said, 'there is no more money here'. Silence. Fellas could only put their heads down."
Everywhere they turned there was an invoice, a bill or a tab to be settled. They'd reach one year's end still afloat only to be sucker-punched with a City Council rates bill of €16,800 come January. They were also saddled with annual loan interest of €62,000.
Eventually, on September 28, 2009, with their continued existence under severe threat, they took their first significant steps in regaining control of their affairs.
An arduous 14-month negotiation process followed until they successfully sealed a loan restructure with Ulster Bank, compiling the three existing loans into one, thereby streamlining affairs and reducing interest repayments. But that gruelling saga took its toll -- at one stage the club thought it had fulfilled all its administrative obligations only to be issued with a further 14 requirements.
Cork County Board Secretary:   Frank Murphy
At another juncture, progress was again delayed as the bank sought confirmation that Proinnsias ó Murchú was indeed the same person as Frank Murphy (Cork GAA secretary) who acts as Trustee for all Cork clubs.
Glen Rovers became increasingly frustrated at the red tape. "It took until November 2010 to sort, it was the worst time for everyone," McAuliffe continues.
It's said, though, that the night gets darkest just before the dawn. And if that was their lowest point, a chink of light soon appeared.
Their clubhouse had been neglected during the main redevelopment and was in total disrepair, but there were no funds for its refurbishment. Up stepped 60 members to donate €500 each and raise €30,000. Other members, carpenters, electricians and plumbers helped complete the job.
Their high-flying under 21 team had met Duhallow in successive county championships and shortly after their most recent clash news emerged that a Duhallow player had died tragically. Most of the Glen team travelled to his funeral to pay their respects. A year on, the heart of that team were preparing for the 2010 senior final with Sarsfields, when the father of the Duhallow player arrived at a training session to wish them luck. He said he'd never forget their attendance at the funeral and before leaving he handed a Glen official an envelope to help with their county board fine. They were stunned at his generosity.
That night they knew the spirit of the club was alive again.
They kicked on from there; three weeks ago they packed almost 1,000 people into Cork Opera House for an 'Up Close and Personal' evening with a galaxy of GAA and sports stars. It was a stunning financial and cultural success, culminating in a fiery exchange between Joe Brolly and Donal óg Cusack.

Along with others, club chairman Mick Hackett and former Lord Mayor of Cork Damien Wallace have pushed the club's fundraising effort into overdrive. It has to be that way to meet monthly repayments.
Bingo has been targeted as a cash cow and through a strong volunteer effort the club reaped extremely handsome profits from it last year. It will continue to generate badly needed cash in the future. So successful is this venture that each month a Super Bingo is held with a €4,000 grand prize. Crowds come from far and wide to pack in.
A local bar manager, Pat O'Connor, was headhunted to run the club's licensed premises and turned the place around. The bar made €35,000 profit last year with Aslan and the Cork Male Voice choir next up in concert. Talent shows and 21st birthday parties are also held and the club has recently sunk its own well to slash water rates.
HUGE SUCCESS:   Cork Opera House fundraiser
Significantly, interest repayments have also dropped from €62,000 pa to €51,000.

"We took on too much but we were left to ourselves, there was no-one there to give us advice or assistance," continues the treasurer. "In the end, we totally restructured and cost-cut everywhere. We felt we took on the banks, the county board with the fine, the lot.
"We'd no money, no leeway and the pressure consumes you. I'm lucky I'm retired but how people can run clubs with a day job is beyond me. We've all the facilities now, but we've been to hell and back and there's still a long road ahead."
"It's probably the history of the Glen that kept us going," McAuliffe reckons.
"Look at the legendary names that have come and gone here. With that rich history, we just couldn't fold. We over-stretched ourselves and took on too much but now we're able to meet repayments. Still, it's a battle that starts again every day."
Only this time they're ready for it.

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2012 Olympic Boxing: Children of the revolution:

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Olympic medalist Egan (right) loses National Title for first time  in 12 years
Ken Egan says he may have to step up a weight division if he hopes to reach the London Olympics next year. The 2008 Olympic Light-Heavyweight silver medalist lost his National Title for the first time in 12 years on Friday. The 29 year-old lost a wide points decision (11-6) to a man who was just six years old when Egan won his first National Title. But, he's been coming for Egan. 
Egan in '08: sudden stardom led to severe alcohol problem
Three years ago, Kenny Egan became a national hero. In fact, it's no exaggeration to say that he virtually kick-started the remarkable surge which has seen Irish amateur boxing become the jewel in the national sporting crown. Egan's performances in Beijing set the tone for an Irish team performance which sent confidence coursing through the sport at all levels. Joe Ward was 14 at the time. He hadn't lost a fight since he was 10 years old. As he watched Egan's Olympic heroics, did he think that he would be the first Irish fighter to beat Egan since the Neilstown man was 18 years old? Hardly. Destiny was arranging a date between them all the same. Two years ago, Ward won the world under 17 light-middleweight title, overwhelming the best that Russia and Cuba had to offer. As Egan coped with the pressures of sudden and unexpected fame and a drink problem, the kid was gaining on him. Last year Ward, just 16, won the world under-19 middleweight title. From Light-middle to middle, the boy was growing. By the turn of this year he would be light-heavy, the same weight division as one Kenneth Egan.
Is this image from Fiday night Ken Egan leaving centre stage for good?
Irish boxing is not short of wunder kinds but they had never seen anything remotely like their young double junior world champion. Ward is a phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime talent.
That's why there was so much anticipation on Friday night in the National Stadium as the old hand took on the young pretender. Yet it appeared unlikely that Ward would prevent Egan from winning a record 11th national title in a row. Egan was 1/5 with the bookies, Ward 3/1. For all his promise, Ward still seemed a child in comparison to one of the greatest amateur boxers this country has ever produced, a man with very real prospects of winning a medal next year in London, a man good enough last year to win a European bronze, even when not at his best. 
Yet, with remarkable candour and confidence for a teenager, Ward insisted all week that he could win this one. And from the opening bell it was amazing to see the younger man setting the pace, bullying Egan physically and showing absolutely no respect for the reputation of his illustrious opponent. Perhaps the most powerfully built boxer on show, Ward fights with a single-minded intensity which threw Egan off his stride. The Moate man was showing that he could win. Whether he would win remained to be seen. A warning against Egan for dropping the head cost the champion two points and left the scores 4-4 going into the final round.

And what a final round. When Ward put Egan down with a terrific left hook, the Stadium erupted. It was a noise which contained a degree of wonder, an amount of amazement and above all a realisation that this was one of those magical moments in sport when history was being made. The momentum had shifted, the torch was being passed and Joe Ward, visibly growing in confidence now, was coming into his kingdom. His followers, the most passionate of the night, were jumping up and down in the aisles and throwing every punch with Joe. Long before the bell went and the referee raised Ward's hand in victory, we knew we were witnessing something very special. Kenny Egan knows that boxing is the cruelest of cruel sports and when your time is up, your time is up. "The king is dead, long live the king."
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Cork's Nemo shocked in All-Ireland Semi-Final:

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St. Brigid's (Roscommon) 0-13 Nemo Rangers (CORK) 1-8
TURNING POINT: Nemo's David Niblock gets his marching orders
Cork's Munster Club king pins: Nemo Rangers were shocked in the All-Ireland Club semi-final on Saturday as Connacht Champions St. Brigid's over turned them. Nemo finished with 13 men. David Niblock's sending off late in the first-half was probably the turning point of the game, while Aidan O'Reilly's red card in the 71st minute made no difference to the outcome of the game.
'The better team won'  -  Nemo manager Eddie Kirwan
Afterwards Nemo manager Eddie Kirwan admitted that the 'better team won on the day. We need to go back to the drawing board.' Undoubtedly though, the first half sending off made a difference to the outcome. When all is said and done, there was only two points between the teams, so who knows what would have happened if Nemo had finished the game with 15 men.
I delayed reporting this story because I don't like reporting on defeats for Cork clubs/teams/people. However, Nemo have had a very good season and the famous southside Cork city club will be back at the forefront of club GAA in the not-too-distant future.
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26 February, 2011

University College Cork win prestigious All-Ireland Intervarsity Collingwood Cup Football Competition:

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Luke Burgess celebrates scoring UCC's Collingwood winner
 UCC 1 NUI Galway 0 (after extra-time): Having ended UCD’s hopes of completing a three-in-a-row at the semi-final stage, John Caulfield’s UCC rounded off Galway’s hat-trick of Collingwood Cup decider defeats in Trinity’s College Park yesterday where a Luke Burgess strike in extra-time was enough to earn the Cork college their victory in the Dublin Bus-sponsored event.
“For me Luke has been our outstanding player this week,” said former Cork City striker Caulfield.
“He’s an unsung hero who just goes about his business with a cool head in there in central midfield and with a tired body out there today he’s stepped up to get the winner. I’m delighted for him.”
Galway couldn't hold out against UCC
The win was, on the balance of play, just about deserved but Galway’s despair at missing out again was all too obvious at the end. In a tight game of few chances, they had come close to a breakthrough a couple of times themselves, most memorably when Alex Lee saw his attempt to turn Terry O’Doherty’s angled pass home cleared off the line by Andrew Neville shortly after the break. Two minutes after the goal, Brian Conlon forced a decent save form Kieran McHenry after Cian McBrien’s free had been deflected into his path.
Billy Clery’s side looked impressive at the back, though, with centre halves Martin Conneely and Cian Fadden containing a lively Cork attack. The former Galway United man had to change things about in order to curb the influence of Rob Waters down the right with Evan Kelly performing strongly after switching to left-back. Waters switched himself to play up front late on, but he found the big central defenders tough to unsettle.
UCC manager John Caulfield (left) as a player
UCC striker Josh O’Shea was a little unlucky to see his deflected shot spin off the line and away moments after Neville had cleared at the other end and Kevin Bambury came close too with a shot from a tight angle that flew to beyond the far post where Eoin Kilcommins could only find the side-netting.
In the end, Burgess got the decisive goal, his second winner of the week. Shane Hegarty picked up possession from a cross and, having seen his attempted shot come back to him off the legs of a defender, squared for the arriving midfielder to slot calmly into the bottom right corner.
UCC: McHenry; O’Callaghan, McSweeney, Neville; Waters, O’Donovan, Burgess, Holmes; E Hegarty, J O’Shea. Subs: Bambury for E Hegarty (52 mins), S Hegarty for O’Donovan and K O’Shea for O’Callaghan (both 65 mins), Kilcommins for Holmes (75).

25 February, 2011

Irish Defence Forces land in Libya: stranded Irish citizens are being rescued as we speak:

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Irish Air Corps leaving Irish air space for Tripoli today

Carefully thought out Plan of Action is being implemented as we speak
        Having left Libyan airspace yesterday with no passengers on board, two Irish Army Air Corps aeroplanes have landed in Tripoli this lunctime. 
        As we speak, heavily armed Irish soldiers are in the process of getting the 40 Irish citizens stranded in the country out of there.
Soldiers' efforts proved futile as they were turned away with empty aircraft yesterday. However, they have returned this lunchtime. This time more heavily armed and in no mood for negotiations. Fighting has escalated in the North African Republic and the Irish Army are anxious to get Irish civilians out of there before dark.
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Former Cork star Doyle fit to face Blackpool in massive boost to Wolves: Good news for the English club with most Irish players:

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YOU LITTLE BEAUTY: Former Cork star Doyle fit for Wolves
It's reaching the business end of the season and Wolves are sadly still deep in relegation trouble. We've reached the stage of the season, where you need to be moving up the table and away from relegation. Wolves have played better this season than last, but very often have not been rewarded however.
A win for Wolves tomorrow over Blackpool would get Mick's Molineux Men out of the relegation zone at a pivotal stage of the season.

"This is a must win game,"
 - Wolves main man:  Mick McCarthy

Star striker (and former Cork City player) Kevin Doyle has been declared fit to face Blackpool tomorrow, for what looks like being a pivotal clash come season's end.
The Republic of Ireland international suffered a painful blow to the hips during the 1-1 derby draw with West Brom in a clash with Jesper Olsson last weekend.
Midfielder (and fellow Ireland international) Stephen Hunt is sidelined with a calf injury.
Wolves' main man: Mick McCarthy has no fresh injury worries though ahead of what he has described as a "must win" game.

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24 February, 2011

O'Brien wants to win League with Cork City:

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O'Brien playing AGAINST Cork City. He's seen sense since
"Being from Kerry, Cork City is a club I have always had an ambition to play for and I am delighted to have the opportunity now"
- Derek O'Brien

Cork City's new signing Derek O'Brien says he has joined the club to win the First Division title. The Tralee born right winger joins from Galway United on a free transfer, having made the Premier Division's Team of the Year last season. 
"There is a wealth of experience in the squad and I am coming here to win a league medal. I could have opted for a comfort step and joined another club, but Tommy Dunne persuaded me otherwise and I know I have made the right decision,"  said O'Brien, who trained with his new team-mates last night.
"Being from Kerry, Cork City is a club I have always had an ambition to play for and I am delighted to have the opportunity now. 
My first recollections of the club are of Dave Barry, Patsy Freyne, Mick Conroy and John Caulfield playing in the Cup Final against Derry City back in 1989. 
O'Brien is happy to be in the "Real Capital"
The 31-year-old nearly joined City from Tralee Dynamos when he was 18. Now he has made it to Turners Cross he is determined to lift some silverware. "In this game, you are judged on the medals you have and that's why I am committed to Cork City,"  he added.
"The priority for me is to win the league....simple as that. I've been fortunate to have won individual honours in my career, but I have not won a trophy with any team, and I have joined City because I believe I can win things here."

That's the sort of talk that ALL at Cork City FC want to hear Derek.

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My Golf Clubs for Sale:

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Set of (seven) Nick Faldo prototype Mizuno 8.5 irons (3iron – 9iron)

Cost:  €800;

Cost Price: €300
Selling Price: €150
Will sell with 3-Wood and 5-Wood for €250
BEST VALUE: COMBINED:  Will Sell ALL (seven irons, three woods and water proof golf bag):
Please contact me on 0863541404 if you are interested.
Alternatively, you can email me:   jamesclancy0110@gmail.com 

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23 February, 2011

GAA: is this the birth of technology in decision makeing? Watch this space:

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HAWK EYE has proven most successful in top-level tennis
The GAA are to put score-detection technology on trial at one of the forthcoming Dublin Spring Series games at Croke Park. 
GAA president Christy Cooney confirmed yesterday that, as part of a feasibility study under the direction of English-based company Hawk-Eye, the technology would be tested at one of the games over the next few weeks, most likely the Dublin/Mayo league match on March 20.
Hawk-Eye representatives have already been to Croke Park. to test their technology and will deploy the cameras on a trial basis at one of the Dublin games.
The game with Kerry on Saturday night has come too soon for the trial, but the match against Mayo, or alternatively the final Croke Park game against Down, will see a trio of Hawk-Eye cameras behind one of the goals to establish that it can work.
New technology will hopefully curb controversial incidents
"We will use this game for a proper trial and the referee will be linked up as well," said Cooney. "We want it with a crowd in Croke Park, so we can judge it better. We will give it a proper evaluation and then make a proper decision. Score-detection is the only thing we are talking about," said Cooney.
Earlier this year the GAA released a statement outlining that Hawk-Eye technology would not be deployed at any game in 2011.
If score-detection technology is to be introduced it will require significant rule changes, but referees, according to Cooney, will still have the right to make their own decision on scores.
U-turn:  GAA President Christey Cooney
It is understood that the service to officials may not involve a human interface, so it will not operate along the lines of the rugby's television match official. Judgment will be delivered to the officials automatically.
"At the end of the day the referee's decision won't change, because it will still be the decision of the referee," stressed Cooney. "This is an aid and an assist for refs."
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