Unity of Purpose
Oh to be a fly on the wall in any of the four Pairc Sean dressing rooms on Sunday.
The Managers are pacing the floors, roaring focus, focus, focus, just in case any player is not switched on to the task in hand, or worse still, switched on to an I-Pod or pressing the send button on a last minute text to the girlfriend in the stand ‘ distractions will be a no-no. They are here to do a job, the first step to a possible Connacht title and nothing must distract from that. The county championship has been won and suitably celebrated, so it’s a whole new ball game now.
Players will all have their own rituals, each of them in their own space, heads down, teeth gritted, laces tightened and double checked, gloves on and off and on again, hamstrings stretched, another slug from the bottle. The whole GAA talk may now be on the Compromise Rule games in Australia, but this is our Australia and the jersey on my back means as much as an international one to me. It was great to win the county and now Connacht and hopefully Croke Park beckon, but we have to get over today first.
The physios are doing the last minute rubs; the selectors are having a word in every ear; the air is tense but quiet; in a few moments the pep talk will shake the four walls; the linked arms will be gripped even tighter; unity of purpose all round.
The attraction of the double Leitrim- Sligo fixture will have the fans in town early, probably before the stragglers from the Hen or Stag party of Saturday night have made it back to their hotel, the brown deer antlers and the pink bunny ears adding to the colours of Coolaney-Mullinabreena, Melvin Gaels, Tourlestrane and Glencar-Manorhamilton. All roads have led to Carrick, but the hens, the stags and the supporters are on different missions.
For the four teams, the parties are put on hold ‘ there is serious business to be done in Pairc Sean first.
Be there, to support your club and county.
14-Oct-11 by Tommy Moran