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Apr 16th



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Well-Placed Insults Alter Course of Irish Sporting History

MotivationalSunday night, just as Nancy won yet another bouquet with customary swagger, yet another Liam Sheedy text landed. His 24th of the evening. “Cnt tk u nuf Nole u pt steel n dem?” he wrote.

I have always been fond of Liam since the fortnight he spent with us on the Sceim na Nollaig scholarship. He wasn’t exactly Adrian Fenlon going home, but he wasn’t forking and baling either.

My Travels
Nothing Expeditious As Noel Leads Ballybore On Road To Glory

ShackletonI have long felt a close affinity with Shackleton. “The pair of you are soul brothers,” Nancy often says.

We share uncannily similar ideas on how to marshal the men in our care, though I would tend to me more personable with them, and the suggestion of a certain standoffishness in Shackleton’s personality did him little credit.

Get The Nod From Noel
Off The Back Wall

Dear Noel – Settle a bet. For that goal, did you dink it, or bend your back?

Noel replies – Nancy swears I hopped it on the knee twice on the run-in. Far be it from me to say.

They Got The Nod From Noel
They Got The Nod From Noel

Louis, club chairman – “Thanks Noel for your advice about how to handle the Teagasc Advisor managing our team. The lads are flying. Last week he hypnotised one of our corner-forwards and told him he’d wake up thinking he was Peter Canavan. Next day he scored 2-3 (0-1f) in a top-of-the-table clash. We now play The Ride of the Valkyries over the public address system before home matches.”

A Kick Up The Noel
A Kick Up The Noel

This week’s Kick up the Noel goes to Leitrim manager Dessie Dolan.

I’m sure you read Dessie’s outrageous comments about Nickey Brennan. He took Nickey to task in most unparliamentary language over the decision to deprive Division Four teams of a second shot in the front door.

The Walk of Life


Nigel from North Kerry wonders how he might “convey the impression of control, calmness, and calculation” on the sideline on the day of a match. He’s managing his club U10s this year and hopes it will be the big break he’s been looking for.

I could talk about sideline deportment all day long – and, indeed, sometimes Nancy and I do when we’re out for a nice drive back west – but this one link here tells Nigel all he needs to know.

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Irish Examiner


Knowledgeable Noel’s Agony Uncle column appears in the Irish Examiner each Saturday.



Knowledgeable Noel is happy to put his expertise at the disposal of GAA people all over Ireland – and, indeed, around the world, wherever two or more people gather to play the Games of the Gael.

Noel has been a GAA man all his life. He has served his club in all capacities – Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, PRO, County Board delegate, Divisional Board delegate, player, coach, umpire, linesman, scoreboard operator, pitch-liner, and countless other roles.
“Some people have been kind enough to call me the GAA’s first Agony Uncle. If the shoe fits, I will wear it. Croke Park has neglected the grassroots of the Association for far too long. You can’t ring up Padraig Duffy and ask him where he thinks you should put your new ‘scoring goal’, or what you might do with a team that has a niggling habit of conceding five goals just before half-time, all against the run of play, can you?” says Noel.
“But you can ask me. I can help you, I will. If I don’t know the answer, I’m sure I will find someone who does. So don’t hesitate to email me about anything.”

Knowledgeable Noel’s weekly column appears in the Irish Examiner every Saturday. Please be advised that questions submitted to this site may be published there.