Sarsfields Newsletter

November 8, 2018




The Weekly Online Newsletter of Sarsfields GAA Club


  Kildare NFL Fixtures For 2008


Kildare face a tough away assignment against Tyrone in the opening round of the National Football on Saturday next February 2nd under lights in Healy Park, Omagh. In all Kildare will play 3 of their 4 away games under lights.


Division 1

Round 1: Sat Feb 2 (7.0) Tyrone v Kildare. Round 2: Sunday Feb 17 (2.30) Kildare v Galway. Round 3: Sunday March 2 (2.30) Kildare v Donegal. Round 4: Saturday, March 15 Derry v Kildare (7.0) Round 5: Sun, March 30 Kildare v Mayo (2.30) Round 6: Saturday April 5th Kerry v Kildare (7.0) Round 7: Sunday April 13 Laois v Kildare (2.30)



Leinster GAA News


 U-19 proposal rejected at Congress
by Brian Murphy, 26 January 2008

The motion to scrap the minor and under-21 grades in hurling and
football in favour of a new under-19 competition was rejected at Special
Congress in Croke Park on Saturday.

Motions 16 to 20, described by GAA President Nickey Brennan as ‘one of
the most important issues to come before Congress in year’, proposed a
two-year trial of the new under-19 grade in both hurling and football to
counter the effects of player burnout.

Despite impassioned pleas from several county board delegates from
around the country, the motion was overwhelmingly rejected on a vote of
115 to 58.

While most delegates agreed that burnout was an issue that needed to be
tackled, Galway and Tyrone representatives objected to the scrapping of
the minor and under-21 grades, insisting that the proposals failed to
deal with the core issue.

The proposals put forward were the culmination of months of work by the
Player Burnout Task Force headed by Doctor Pat O’Neill, who presented a
detailed briefing on the risks associated with the phenomenon before the
issue was debated.

Galway representative Bernie O’Connor was the first to attack the
proposed changes. He said: ‘While nobody would reject what Doctor
O’Neill has told us, to use the notion of a horse trainer, if a number
of trainers trained their horses the wrong way, would you cancel the

‘I would certainly think that you wouldn’t. There is lots of merit in
what he says but I think that doing away with the under-21 and minor
competitions is not the answer.

‘I certainly agree that there should be restrictions on the amount of
training that a coach is allowed to do but my county has mandated me to
object completely with doing away with those competitions.

Antrim secretary John McSporran spoke passionately in favour of the
proposed changes.

‘These injuries are becoming more common, more frequent and young lads
are becoming damaged with the excessive amounts of training,’ McSporran

‘For two years we have been asked to consider this. It will free up time
which is relevant to other topics which will be discussed today. I urge
people to give it that chance for two years to amalgamate the two

Other counties to speak in favour of the changes included Dublin,
Roscommon and Cavan, while Mayo, Tipperary and Kilkenny and Tipperary
voted against the motion.

The motion required a simple majority to be passed, but in the end went
down by a two to one majority.

Speaking to reporters after the decision, GAA President Nickey Brennan
suggested that the matter could well be revisited at a Special Congress
later in the year.


CORRECT Diagnosis, Wrong Remedy.


By Martin Breheny
Monday January 28 2008

That was the clear view at Saturday’s special GAA Congress in Croke
Park, where an attempt to have the minor and U-21 championships scrapped
and replaced by an U-19 competition as part of the war on burnout was
beaten on a 115-58 vote.

It wasn’t that delegates disregarded the problem of burnout among young
players, but they didn’t accept that the minor and U-21 championships
were at the root of the problem.

Dr Pat O’Neill presented some graphic examples of the damage caused to
young players who are subjected to excessive physical pressures, but the
committee who proposed the abolition of minor and U-21 championships was
unable to convince enough counties that it was the correct solution.

Instead, many delegates claimed that excessive training rather than
actual competition caused most of the burnout problems.

Delegates from Antrim, Dublin, Cavan, Roscommon and Louth, as well as
GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell, all spoke in favour of replacing
minor and U-21 with an U-19 competition, while Galway, Tyrone, Mayo,
Tipperary Kilkenny and Kildare led the charge for the retention of the status

A simple majority would have been enough to bring about change for a
two-year experimental period but the proposal was beaten on a 2 to 1

Despite the defeat of the controversial proposal, the issue of burnout
will remain high on the agenda as both GAA president, Nickey Brennan and
in-coming director-general Paraic Duffy promised that a new set of
proposals will be drafted in the coming months.

Dr O’Neill will also be involved in drafting the new anti-burnout
formula which he described as ‘an issue that simply has to be

Duffy said that it was clear that Congress had accepted there was a
serious burnout problem for young players which made it imperative that
counter measures be drawn up as soon as possible.

‘We can’t wait 12 months. We have to put things in place as quickly as
possible. The evidence of burnout is overwhelming and we have to take it
on,’ he said.

Brennan said that the challenge now was to find a balance, so that
players weren’t subjected to the risk of burnout while retaining a
strong competition structure.

‘It was clear from today’s debate that counties recognise the extent of
the problem and want to sort it out. It was also clear that they
realised how important it is to support our clubs with a competition
structure that gives all players a regular supply of games. Many of the
measures we agreed today will help in that process,’ he said.

They include playing extra-time in all inter-county games that finish
level in the early stages of the championship, a decision which will
cost the GAA in financial terms but which will result in a smoother club
programme in the summer months.

The main decisions taken by Saturday’s Congress were:

1: The minor and U-21 championships will be retained. The proposal to
replace them with an U-19 competition for an experimental period was
beaten, 115-58.

2: The months of November and December will be a closed period for all
inter-county games and for collective training.

3. Subsidiary inter-county competitions should be completed before the
start of the National Leagues. Otherwise they must be played under
lights as mid-week fixtures.

4. The National Hurling and Football League will be constructed in order
that they are completed over no more than eight weekends (including the
finals) except in the case of Division Four in football where 10
weekends will be allowed because there are nine teams in the group.

5. Senior inter-county panel sizes will be set at 30 for the
Championships and 24 for the National Leagues. That will enable more
players to be available for their clubs during the National League

6. Senior provincial championships will begin no earlier than the third
weekend in May and must be completed by the end of July. The All-Ireland
quarter-finals must be completed by the August Bank Holiday weekend,
unless replays are necessary. All games in each round of the All-Ireland
qualifiers will be played over a single weekend.

7. Extra-time will be played in all senior and minor inter-county
championship games where required, excluding provincial and All-Ireland
semi-finals and finals. Extra-time will be 10 minutes each way and if
the sides are still level two further five minute periods of extra time
will apply.

8. Senior inter-county panels will not be permitted to go on training
weekends, or periods of longer duration, after the National League
finals, except during the 13 days prior to a championship game or 20
days prior to the All-Ireland final.

9. Inter-county challenge games will not be allowed on Saturdays or
Sundays after the end of the National Leagues, except where a round of
adult club games have been played in the counties involved between the
Monday and Saturday of the week in question.

10. Team managers must sign up to a charter agreed with the County Board
regarding training and other matters relevant to the smooth running of
club fixtures in the county.


GAA Press Release

23 Jan. 08

GAA Club Forum

The GAA have announced details of their upcoming Club forum which will
be held in Croke Park on February 9th next. The forum, which will
involve representatives from over 300 clubs, is intended as one of a
series of initiatives which will contribute to the development of a
National Strategic Plan for the Association which will be launched later
in the year by incoming Director General of the GAA, Mr Paraic Duffy.

The development of this plan will involve an extensive consultation
process which will see the GAA canvassing a broad range of views from
across a wide spectrum of Irish society and from within the Association
itself. Each County committee will be nominating ten club
representatives to attend the forum where they will be involved in a
series of workshops covering many areas of GAA activity. The forum has
been designed to allow discussion on key aspects of Association policy
and to elicit feedback as to the direction and emphasis that club
members feel the GAA should be taking over the next five years.

The President of the GAA, Mr Nickey Brennan said that the forum was a
great opportunity for club members from around the country to put their
points across in relation to matters of importance to them and to their
clubs generally.

Paraic Duffy said the Club Forum will play an important role in the
development of the National Strategic Plan: ‘It is intended that the
plan will identify priority areas for the Association in the short to
medium term, outline our goals in these areas and most importantly, how
we intend to achieve them. The club forum will be the first step in
identifying what club members see as the main areas of immediate concern
for the Association’, he said.

Mr Duffy said that ideally the Forum would have featured representation
from every single club in the country, but that the numbers involved
would have proven unmanageable and that for the Forum to best achieve
its goals effectively, it was necessary to limit the numbers involved.

GAA Planning for 125th Anniversary Celebrations

The GAA have announced that they are planning a range of activities and
challenges for the Association in 2009 to celebrate the 125th
Anniversary of the founding of the GAA in 1884. A committee under the
Chairmanship of former Armagh footballer Jarlath Burns will organise and
co-ordinate the events and the full list of committee members will be
announced once they are finalised.


Heat is on for ‘Rules’ as talks set for Dubai


By Martin Breheny
Thursday January 24 2008

SENIOR GAA and AFL officials are to meet in Dubai in two weeks to decide
if the Ireland-Australia International Rules series has any future.

It was suspended after violence marred the second Test in Croke Park in

President Nickey Brennan will head the GAA delegation for a two-day
negotiation session. Preliminary talks were held last November.

‘We are approaching the latest talks with an open mind. There are a
several issues we need to address because clearly we cannot contemplate
returning to the situation which prevailed in the last few series where
we never knew when violence would erupt. If the series is to continue it
will have to be on the basis of mutual respect for each other.’

While Brennan remains non-committal about the future of the series,
outgoing Director-General, Liam Mulvihill continues to harbour major
doubts about the long-term prospects.

‘I was always a great supporter of the concept but I’m not sure anymore.
What happened in the past two series was very depressing. I’d say it
will get one more chance but in the longer term, I wouldn’t be hopeful.
The Australians seem to have a different attitude to it. They say
they’re as strong on discipline but the evidence is not there to support
it. It was crying out for a statement from them after what happened in
Croke Park in 2006 but it didn’t come.

‘It’s a great honour for players to play for their country and it would
nice in the International Rules concept could be maintained but
personally I’m not all that optimistic,’ said Mulvihill.







Referees face impossible task to end rampant indiscipline


By Martin Breheny
Wednesday January 23 2008

IF, by some wonder of science, envy could be converted into bio fuel, GAA
referees would have had full tanks to power their cars home after
listening to Alain Rolland last night.

The former Irish international scrum-half, who refereed last year’s
rugby World Cup final, was invited to share his experiences with the men
who are about to commission their whistles for the long GAA season

It was a nice idea, designed to broaden perspectives, even if it did
create the risk of leaving GAA referees bewildered as they contrasted
their troubled lot with that of their rugby brethren. The wavelengths
separate rapidly when it comes to how GAA and soccer referees are
treated compared to their rugby counterparts.

Nobody dares challenge rugby referees. Even a 6′ 6′ second row is made
to look like an errant school kid as he’s dispatched to the ‘sin bin’
for some misdemeanour. There’s no ‘ah c’mon,’ combined with head and
hand-throwing in an attempt to depict the referee as a biased,
incompetent fool.

Quite simply, there’s a culture of acceptance that while the referee
isn’t always right, he’s always the boss. But then that’s the
environment into which kids enter rugby.

Contrast that with GAA and soccer, where the referee is regarded as a
necessary evil, whose status is linked directly to how you and your team
are faring under him. Fine if it’s going your way; if not, then tell him
exactly what you think of him, his mother and indeed his entire family.
I’m not holding rugby up as a paragon of perfect sporting virtue where
foul play is only a rare intruder.

Stamping, raking and eye gouging remain unacceptably common but when
offences are detected and acted upon, that tends to be the end of the

It’s different in GAA, where punishments are immediately followed by
declarations of intent to appeal, hoping that some flawed technicality
will allow the poor victimised soul who has been suspended to return

The level of hypocrisy is absolutely sickening as county officials, who
are charged with administering justice among their own clubs, launch
spirited defences of star players, even in cases where the evidence
against them is overwhelming.

There’s no doubt that the biggest challenge facing the GAA is the
question of discipline. It’s as if it exists in a parallel universe,
governed by procedures which come under such sustained attack that they
inevitably wilt.

At the start of a new season it would be nice to think that the
acceptance of discipline would permeate through all ranks of the GAA
but, in reality, there’s no chance of that happening. You see, my Johnny
is never wrong and, even if he is, somebody provoked him, so it’s an
absolute outrage that he has to serve even a day’s suspension.

A glance at the provincial newspapers in the busy club season proves
just how chaotic the indiscipline scene has become. Indeed, it appears
to be getting progressively worse too but that’s hardly surprising,
given the number of high-profile cases where inter-county players who
were clearly guilty of serious offences escaped suspension on

Ultimately, it comes down to cowardice and self-preservation. Top
officials, who defend their players to unreasonable lengths, regard
themselves as heroic figures taking on the might of the central system.
I challenged one county chairman on this issue last year and his replay
was honest, if disappointing.


‘So what if I don’t try to get X off. I go out on a limb and say ‘you’ve
done the crime, now do the time.’ I might be congratulated by Croke Park
and the media but will I be thanked in my own county if we lose the next
game? No bloody way. The reality is that you have to fight your corner
even if you don’t believe in it — otherwise you won’t survive.’

And so it goes. Local politics come before the general good and, as a
result, discipline problems continue to be a serious blight on the GAA

No doubt, GAA referees were interested to hear Rolland’s address, even
if they knew that his experiences were gained against a completely
different background where he started on the basis that players respect
that his word is law. And if he makes a tough decision, he will have the
support of the disciplinary system.

Can you see that happening in the GAA any time soon? No, me neither





Once upon a time in the kingdom of Heaven, God went missing for seven days.
Eventually, Michael the archangel found him. He inquired of God, ‘where were you?’.

God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds; ‘look son, look what I’m after making’. Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, ‘what is it?’

God replied, ‘it’s another planet but I’m after putting LIFE on it. I’ve named it Earth and there’s going to be a balance between everything on it. For example, there’s North America and South America. North America is going to be rich
and South America is going to be poor, and the narrow
bit joining them – that’s going to be a hot spot. Now look over here. I’ve put a continent of whites in the north and another one of blacks in the south.’

And then the archangel said, ‘and what’s that green dot there?’. And God said ‘ahhh that’s the Emerald Isle – that’s a very special place. That’s going to be the most glorious spot on earth: beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, and an exquisite coast line.’

‘These people here are going to be great craic and they’re going to be found travelling the world. They’ll be playwrights and poets and singers and songwriters. And I’m going to give them this black liquid which they’re going to go mad on and for which people will come from the far corners of the earth to imbibe.’

Michael the Archangel gasped in wonder and admiration but then seeming startled proclaimed: ‘Hold on a second, what about the BALANCE, you said there was going to be a balance.

God replied wisely. ‘Wait until you see the neighbours I’m going to give them’


An Irish man walks into a pub. The bartender asks him, ‘what’ll you have?’
The man says, ‘Give me three pints of Guinness please.’

So the bartender brings him three pints and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third until they’re gone. He then orders three more.

The bartender says, ‘Sir, I know you like them cold. You don’t have to order three at a time. I can keep an eye on it and when you get low I’ll bring you a fresh cold one.’

The man says, ‘You don’t understand. I have two brothers, one in Australia and one in the States. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night we’d still drink together. So right now, my brothers have three Guinness Stouts too, and we’re drinking together.

The bartender thought that was a wonderful tradition. Every week the man came in and ordered three beers. Then one week he came in and ordered only two. He drank them and then ordered two more.

The bartender said to him, ‘I know what your tradition is, and I’d just like to say that I’m sorry that one of your brothers died.’

The man said, ‘Oh, me brothers are fine – I just gave up drinking.’



GAA Quotes

‘We all have our ways of dealing with it. Mine might differ to Mick O’Dwyer’s – he’s a pioneer and I’m not, if you get my drift. I’ll put it this way, we certainly sat on a high stool a couple of nights deliberating.’ – John Maughan on how he spent the winter reflecting on Mayo’s 2004 All-Ireland final defeat, by eight points, to Kerry.

‘These new regulations will kill the game of hurling within 12 months.’ – Brian Cody gives his verdict on the new experimental rules after Kilkenny play Dublin in the Walsh Cup.

‘If you support this you are supporting the formation of a new association that caters for everything and stands for nothing.’ – Former GAA President Con Murphy before the vote on the controversial Rule 42 at Congress.

‘Tradition won’t play any games or score any points for you.’ – Dublin forward Alan Brogan, pictured below, on Dublin’s chances of winning a Leinster title where the other three teams left are Kildare, Laois and Wexford.

‘Ah sure, it was even said about me when I was playing – Roy of the Rovers one day, useless the next. Days you’d expect something from us were the days we’d disappoint.’ – Larry Murphy the week before a hotly-tipped Wexford sunk without trace against a supposedly ageing Clare side in the All-Ireland quarter-final. 


Ah yes the career of the Gaelic footballer can end in a flash. Just ask any Roscommon player. — Keith Duggan on Roscommon’s nude pool playing.

That’s the first time I’ve seen anybody limping off with a sore finger! — Armagh’s Gene Morgan to ‘injured’ teammate Pat Campbell.










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