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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.