Sarsfields Newsletter

November 8, 2018




The Weekly Online Newsletter of Sarsfields GAA Club.


Kildare reach the All –Ireland Final.


In a thrilling game in Navan on Saturday Kildare beat Down to reach a first All- Ireland for the county in 10 years and a first U 21 final appearance since 1976 when Kildare narrowly lost to Kerry. On three occasions over the past 16 years including Saturday Kildare have played in U21 All- Ireland semi final.  Unsuccessful in 1992 and 2004 it was third time lucky for Kildare on Saturday. But it wasn’t just luck. Luck played a minor role in Kildare’s success. It was skill and commitment and hunger to win and a belief in themselves that is rarely seen in Kildare teams. In a backhanded compliment a former Dublin manager said that the Kildare team on Saturday didn’t play like Kildare teams normally play.

We in Sarsfields can be very proud of our players; Gary White Eoin O’Sullivan and Alan Smith  as well as Pauric Brennan’s role as selector. Below is an interview that was in last weeks nationalist with Kildare Captain Gary White.

The Kildare minors play Louth this Saturday in St. Conleth’s Park on Saturday. Sean Cambell is captain. Is that a record? That Sarsfields supplied both captains to the county U21 and minor teams. Good luck to Sean and Ray Cahill and the Kildare team. 


The White man in the White county

By: Daragh Ó Conchúir


LITTLE more than a minute has elapsed in the Leinster final when Gary White wins possession and bursts forward.


One of Kildare’s chief scoring threats, Wexford’s Seán O’Neill, senses an opportunity to lay down a marker on the Lilywhite captain, who whether he knew it or not, had been struggling with a shoulder injury in the build-up to the game.

O’Neill eyes up his man and times his tackle perfectly. Bang! He hits White with everything he’s got.

It’s a shuddering, bone-crunching challenge, one of those that you can feel in the stand. It’s no surprise when the man hits the dirt, broken, dry-retching, gulping desperately for air.

It is the Wexford man who is in need of first, second and third aid though. He doubles over on his hands and knees but the guttural roar of the Kildare support acclaiming a hero will have told him that he has had about as much an impact on 2nd Lieutenant Gary White as Derby have had on the English Premiership.

IT’S mid-way through the second half and Wexford midfielder David Farrell has possession close to the stand sideline. White confronts him in the all-or-nothing style that epitomises everything he has ever done. The challenge is a little high and earns him a yellow card.

Although Farrell hops off the turf immediately, those who have been waiting for the chance to shake their heads knowingly do so with relish, pleased to believe that they have had their point proven once again.

“Good player but has a nasty streak” is the assertion.

When did it start? We’re not sure but there had never been any talk of this supposed mean streak as a minor.

And then he had his nose broken in an off-the-ball incident during a league game in Geraldine Park between his club Sarsfields and Athy.

Although he spent a night in hospital, the vibe doing the rounds on sidelines and forums was that Gary White had it coming.

Just imagine what that was like. His mother Helen was very shook up by it. Dad Seán – the original Chalky – was raging. Gary himself was surprised and hurt.

He shouldn’t have been of course. Apart from being a victim of the most Irish of traits – the obsession with chopping people down to size – he is a Sarsfields man and proud of it.

The self-assurance that comes with the type of concerted success Sarsfields have had over the years doesn’t go down well with others. It is thus with any club sitting atop a roll of honour in any county.

So while young Chalky has always been a Great, ah, White Hope for Kildare football, his roots have made it just that little easier for the critics to stick the knife in, because Sarsfields are one arrogant shower.

“It’s hard to block it out,” he says of the jibes. “Of course I’m aware that I pick up too many yellow cards and I am trying to improve that. I suppose I am eager to win and I get a bit hot-headed but I really do want to win.

“Glenn Ryan had a long career with Kildare. He was a very intimidating man. The likes of Brian Lacey was the same. They had a small bit of aggression in them.”

Another factor to consider is that he played his first game as a defender in the 2005 county final replay against St Laurence’s. In other words, he is a defender just over two years.

There have been late challenges, and some incidents he regrets, but he reckons his reputation is “a bit overplayed”. What’s more, he’s convinced that he is improving, having learned a lot about how to tackle from senior boss Kieran McGeeney this year. Because before that, he didn’t know how to. Tackling doesn’t figure prominently in the manual of a forward, or even an attack-minded midfielder.

Significantly, neither Ryan, who is now his U21 manager, nor McGeeney have made any suggestions that the 6’2” 13 stone tyro should tone things down. On the contrary, they have commended his aggression; he just needs to be a bit cuter about his deployment of it.

And that’s the point here. Gary White is just 21. Roy Keane didn’t learn to calm down until he was about 29 and that volcano never truly burned out. In the end, he did alright for himself.

Closer to home, no-one will ever forget Ryan bullying Westmeath players and the referee into submission in the 2004 Leinster championship. That was hunger and desire at its most primal. Some people said the Round Towers legend was right on the edge that day. In truth he careered right over the precipice and it was the reason a 14-man Kildare won.

White possesses a similar determination that has been evident from the first time he laced a pair of boots and trotted down to Sarsfields. He has done everything he can to maximise his potential, apart perhaps from giving up his beloved fast food. Maybe Ryan and McGeeney see a younger version of themselves when they look at him.

For just like them, within White’s soul is a fire that will not be quenched.WANT to know where that fire comes from? What makes him push himself to the limit and beyond? Just walk into his kitchen most days and you’ll find the answer in the form of his grandfather.

Paddy ‘Boiler’ White was named at centre-forward on Kildare’s Team of the Millennium and won a Leinster title with the All-Whites back in 1956.

All the stories Gary heard when growing up though recounted Boiler’s heroic deeds in a Sarsfields jersey, especially from 1950-1952, when the Sash chiselled out a famous county championship three-in-a-row. These are his motivation.

“My granddad is the main thing. There’s been a lot of talk since I was small, with people saying if I was half as good as he was I’d be okay and I did want to live up to that name.”

There is a long way to go but right now, Boiler is a very proud man.

Next Saturday, Kildare play a star-studded Down in the Cadbury’s All-Ireland U21 football semi-final.

White has had a lot to contend with this season, having also established himself as a regular with the seniors while attending DIT, where he is studying logistics and supply chain management. As well as that he is an officer of the Irish Army.

He has taken it all in his stride and is revelling in the captaincy of the U21s, having walked off with three man-of-the-match awards out of the four Leinster games. He is quick to point to the contributions of his team-mates though, while his admiration for the head honcho is very evident.

“Glenn has been through it all. I knew he was going to be a good manager. Everybody was wondering if he would introduce a Micko-style training, running us into the ground, but he’s very modern. He brought in Jim (Maguire) who is excellent.

“The first few trials and training sessions, everyone was eager to impress because of Glenn, who he is, and his standing in the county.”

White reveals Ryan’s emphasis on creating a family atmosphere in the dressing room. A weekend away in Meath enabled players to get to know one another, as well as the management. A Christmas party in Kavanagh’s of Naas that ended in Time nightclub was also important.

“He’s serious when it comes to football but he doesn’t want fellas going around with serious faces all the time. There’s even a bit of craic before games. He wants us to be relaxed and reckons we play our best when we’re relaxed.”

They will need to be at their best to account for Down, who won the minor All-Ireland three years ago and look to have trained on, despite losing the services of the supremely gifted Martin Clarke to the AFL. But Kildare have not reached the summit of their ambitions yet.

“At the start we were kinda’ like, ‘it would be nice to win a Leinster’. But Glenn kept harping on about having an All-Ireland medal. We were happy to win Leinster but it was back to work pretty quickly as this has been the main goal all year.

“Kildare have won a few Leinsters now so we want to separate ourselves from the group and we also want to help push Kildare onto the next level. Everyone is fully confident now of winning an All-Ireland.”

As ever The Driven Man will be leading the way. There will be collisions and his team-mates will love it, taking their cue from the on-field leader.

2nd Lieutenant Gary White won’t shy away from his responsibilities and nor will he back down from any challenge.

And if you don’t like that, go follow tiddlywinks.



Sarsfields Fixtures for the coming week


Tuesday 22nd April Result:  Johnstownbridge 0-11  Sarsfields 0-14

Thursday 24th April. JHL Sarsfields V Eire Og chorra choill

Friday 25th April: U16 League Div 2 Semi-Final: Maynooth V Sarsfields at 7pm.

Friday 25th U16 League Div 4: Rathangan V Sarsfields.

Sunday April 27th SFL: Leixlip V Sarsfields  at 3pm

Sunday April 27th SFL Division 3 Sarsfields V St. Laurence’s at 5pm.

Sunday April 27th U14 Football League Div 2 Sarsfields V Raheens

Div 4: Sarsfields V Celbridge. At 11am.

Monday 28th April SFL Division 5  Sarsfields V Ballymore at 7pm                  



GAA chiefs to meet to discuss fallout of Dublin and Meath melee


By Colm O’Connor and Paul Keane
GAA disciplinary chiefs will meet this morning to discuss yesterday’s
controversial derby clash of Dublin and Meath at Parnell Park in which
five players were sent off.

Referee Paddy Russell issued red cards to Dublin’s Paddy Andrews,
Bernard Brogan and Meath duo Niall McKeigue and Shane McAnarney
following a 29 man melee after four minutes. Ten minutes later home
midfielder Ciarán Whelan also received his marching orders following a
clash with Seamus Kenny and was almost struck by a cup of tea thrown
from the crowd as he left the field.

Russell also flashed 11 yellows in a game which Dublin won by a point
(0-13 to 2-6).

Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) Chairman Jimmy Dunne last
night revealed that the matter will be investigated swiftly.

He said: ‘We have a planned meeting on Monday morning and we hope to
have the referee’s report to ensure a speedy conclusion to this.

‘Someone will have contacted the referee to get him to have his report
with us by the morning.

‘In a high profile case like this we would be very keen to deal with the
matter as quickly as possible.

‘It is especially important to expedite matters if Dublin are playing in
the Division Two Final at the weekend.

Dublin have now had nine players red carded since the start of the year
yet boss Paul Caffrey had no quibbles about yesterday’s additions.

However, ‘Pillar’ did let rip on the Meath supporter who tossed a cup of
hot tea at Whelan as he departed the pitch after his 14th minute

‘I’m sure the spectator who threw that at Ciarán Whelan is not the
proudest man – or maybe he is,’ said Caffrey.

‘You know Dublin and Meath have massive respect for each other and long
may that continue. But supporters throwing hot cups of tea at players
certainly doesn’t enter into it.

‘I’m sure that gentleman isn’t a true reflection of the great Meath

‘What goes on, on the field of play goes on and Paddy Russell had his
job to do and he did it.

‘So we have no complaints there but I think it (the attack on Whelan)
was totally uncalled for.

‘I’ve never seen it before. Parnell Park is a wonderful venue and we
have a great system here but, you know, I’m just glad it didn’t hit

Added Caffrey: ‘That’s it, we’ll take it on the chin and move on. We’ll
look forward to playing Westmeath, maybe on Saturday night.

‘What I’d be most proud of today is that we were in control of the game
and played some great passages of football. Meath got two late goals out
of nowhere, fantastic strikes they were and it looked then like Meath
would go on and win it.

‘But there was a magnificent response from the 12 Dublin players on the
field of play and we got forward and got the winning score.’

For Meath defeat to the old enemy brought a disappointing end to their
Division Two campaign, particularly given the manner of a bizarre day.

‘Things escalated (in the early melee), everyone was in it and it was
very hard to know what was going on,’ said manager Colm Coyle.

‘The referee took action and sent four off. It just seemed things were
happening so fast but he acted. That should have been a warning to

Meanwhile the CCCC will also discuss the venues and times for the
weekend’s National Football League Finals. Dunne predicts the Division
One and Two finals (Derry v Kerry, Dublin v Westmeath) may form an
attractive double bill on Saturday with the Division Three and Four
deciders (Fermanagh v Wexford, Offaly v Tipperary) fixed for Sunday.

GAA chiefs will also be keen to avoid a clash with Munster’s Heineken
Cup semi-final against Saracens which kicks off at 3.30pm on Sunday.

However Mr Dunne was unwilling to speculate on the venues noting that:
‘we will have to look at the geography involved’. However Portlaoise or
Tullamore are favourites to host the Saturday games







GAA to embrace IT age and leave paper trail behind
By Colm Keys
 The GAA is to start rolling out new technological initiatives that will
enable the association to become much less dependent on paper trails.

The GAA’s IT committee have published a blueprint that will help the
association to embrace the information technology age in a much more
sustained way.

From SMS text messaging service to e-registering of all GAA members and
widening the scope of the GAA website the head of the IT committee,
Ulster vice president Aogan Farrell, promises ‘a much easier life for

Farrell and his committee have been working on the document extensively
over the last year and got broad Management approval to start rolling
out the new initiatives.

Critically there will be central funding for all new ventures proposed.

‘This isn’t an aspirational document like some of those produced before.
This is actually going to happen. In fact it is happening at present,’
says Farrell.

The biggest advance will be the registering of all members by the end of
2008 that will provide the GAA with its most accurate database ever of
its membership.

‘If you asked anyone in Croke Park what the exact membership of the GAA
is they couldn’t tell you because it is almost impossible to tell.

But hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be able to tell, not only how
many members there are but how many U-16 hurlers there are in Waterford
or how many 18-21-year-olds there are in Longford at the touch of a
button,’ says Farrell.

‘It will give the association enormous scope in the future to have this
information so readily available.’

The GAA has already done a deal with Belfast-based company Servasports
to provide the software for the initiative.

The SMS text messaging service will complement this and provide every
club in the country with a service ‘far cheaper than you can currently
buy on the High Street,’ according to Farrell.

‘We’ve had done a great deal on text bundling. Every member registered
will have his or her own unique number to operate this. We’ve already
piloted it in a number of counties — Derry, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh,
Leitrim, Kilkenny and Tipperary and it has worked very well.’

Other initiatives earmarked are expansion of the GAA website to make
information on coaching, games development, grants, transfers and best
practice more accessible. An e-newsletter is also in the pipeline.

‘The GAA president Nickey Brennan has already acknowledged that there
can be a problem getting information down to the membership and there
was criticism of this during the debate on the welfare expenses,’ said
Farrell. ‘But the concept of an e-newsletter should help this.’

Initiatives on ticketing are also proposed with loyalty schemes for

‘The two words I would associate with all of this is timely and
accurate. That’s how we aim to deliver information from now on,’ says

He added: ‘In the past this has been talked about but Management have
sanctioned and will fund it all. The key to it all is training of
officers and that too will be funded.’


Three Provincial Finals to be shown live on TV3 this Summer

Dublin’s opener in the Leinster Senior Football Championship is
Confirmed as part of TV3’s 10 game package

TV3 to show the pick of the Football Qualifiers in all Three Rounds

TV3 is delighted to announce its ten exclusive live GAA Championship matches for the forthcoming season. This is a significant development, which will see TV3 become the first independent broadcaster to show live All-Ireland
Senior GAA Championship matches as part of a three year deal.

Opening with a classic Munster Hurling clash on June 1st, TV3 cameras will
be at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick as Clare and Waterford battle it out
in the first round of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship.

Then it’s on to Croke Park for Dublin’s Leinster Senior Football opener against Louth on June 8th, followed by back-to-back Leinster Senior Football semi-finals, exclusive to TV3 on June 22nd and June 29th.

With three live provincial finals in July, TV3 will be there when the first of the season’s Championship silverware is handed out. The Leinster Senior Hurling Final, the Connacht Senior Football Final and the Ulster Senior F
ootball Final will all be live on TV3 over consecutive weeks in July.

TV3 will also show live and exclusive coverage of the Senior Championship
Football Qualifiers with ‘first pick’ rights to all three qualifying rounds
. This promises to throw up some compelling encounters as the qualifiying system continues to add extra excitement to the Championship season.

TV3 also announced today the appointment of Motive Television / Asgard Media as TV3’s GAA Production partners for all live match coverage. Motive Television / Asgard Media have extensive GAA television production experience
including the hugely popular GAA series, Breaking Ball. Ciarán Ó hEadhra from Asgard Media has been appointed Series Producer for all live matches
. Further appointments will be announced over the coming weeks.

Commenting on both announcements today Pat Kiely, TV3’s Commercial
Director said:-

‘This package of ten live matches are right at the heart of the season and
we’re delighted that TV3 will play such a big role as the Championship ’08
story unfolds. There is a great mix of action across all four provinces and
we are very proud to be the exclusive television broadcaster of three of the provincial finals. The qualifiers will add some extra spice to what promises to be a very exciting and colourful series of live matches on TV3 ‘.

‘We are also delighted to have Motive Television / Asgard Media on board as
our live match production partners. Ciarán Ó hEadhra and his team have
a wealth of GAA experience and will work closely with TV3 in ensuring that
we offer a fresh and popular new approach to Gaelic games television cover

Commenting on their appointment as production partners for TV3’s live matches:

Mick Pilsworth, Executive Chairman of Motive said:- ‘This is an exciting opportunity to build on our expertise and track record in producing GAA programming by moving into the live arena with two great partners, Asgard Media
and TV3′.

Ciarán Ó hEadhra, Series Producer said:- These are exciting times for GAA fans, with TV3 becoming a new broadcast partner to the GAA. We> ‘> re
looking forward to working with Motive Television and TV3, and are excited
about bringing fans coverage of the highest quality ‘ .


GAA & Other Quotes

A Kerry footballer with an inferiority complex is one who thinks he’s just as good as everybody else. — John B. Keane

Life isn’t all beer and football: some of us haven’t touched a football in months. — A Kerry player during the league in the early 1980’s

He wouldn’t see a foul in a henhouse. — Frustrated Sligo fan’s judgement of the ref after the 2002 Connacht final.


I am always amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between nations, and that if only the common peoples of the world could meet one another at football or cricket, they would have no inclination to meet on the battlefield. Even if they didn’t know from concrete examples (the 1936 Olympics, for instance) that international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred, one could deduce it from general principles… At the international level sport is frankly mimic warfare.
        – George Orwell, ‘The Sporting Spirit’ (14 December 1945)

Sports do not build character. They reveal it.

– Haywood Hale Broun

What counts in sports is not the victory, but the magnificence of the struggle.

– Joe Paterno

Players win games, teams win championships.

         Bill Taylor

‘Extraordinary scenes there at the end. I think some of the crowd chanting ‘Italy! Italy!’ were actually Irish.’
        – Tom McGurk, after Ireland stagger to a 16-11 win over Italy (2008)


‘What will his reasons be for resigning?’
‘Well, without trying to be facetious, I wouldn’t have got up at 5am to be here if I knew that.’
        – BBC Radio Five Live’s Shelagh Fogarty covering Clive Woodward’s resignation


Recently, I listened to an announcer refer to Lewis Hamilton, the rookie sensation Formula 1 driver from Hertfordshire, England, as African-American because there was simply no other acceptable way to refer to him.
        – A letter writer to America’s ‘National Review’ on the madness of political correctness









A retired Italian wine maker went to the village church to make his confession for the first time in many decades. When the priest slid open the panel in the confessional, the man said, ‘Father, during World War II, a beautiful woman knocked on my door and asked me to hide her from the enemy. I hid her in my attic.’

The priest replied, ‘That was a wonderful thing you did, my son! You have no need to confess it.’

‘It’s worse than that, Father,’ he continued. ‘She quickly started to repay me with, uh, you know, favors.’

‘People in wartime sometimes act in ways they wouldn’t under norma conditions,’ the priest replied. ‘If you are truly sorry for your actions, you are forgiven.’

‘Thank you, Father. That’s a relief,’ the man said. He then added, ‘I have one more question.’

‘What is it, my son?’ the priest asked.

The man answered, ‘She is pretty old now. Should I tell her the war is over?’

A cabbie picks up a Nun.

She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won’t stop staring at her. She asks him why he is staring.

He replies: ‘I have a question to ask you but I don’t want to offend you.’

She answers, ‘My son, you cannot offend me. When you’re as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I’m sure that there’s nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.’

‘Well, I’ve always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.’

She responds, ‘Well, let’s see what we can do about that: 1, you have to be single and 2, you must be Catholic.’

The cab driver is very excited and says, ‘Yes, I’m single and Catholic!’

‘OK’ the nun says. ‘Pull into the next alley.’

The nun fulfills his fantasy, with a kiss that would make a hooker blush. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

‘My dear child,’ says the nun, ‘why are you crying?’

‘Forgive me but I’ve sinned. I lied and I must confess, I’m married and I’m Jewish.’

The nun says, ‘That’s OK. My name is Kevin and I’m going to a Halloween party’







Little Johnny Strikes Again


Little Johnnie’s neighbour had a baby.Unfortunately, the baby was born without ears.

When mother and new baby came home from the hospital, Johnnie’s family was invited over to see the baby.Before they left their house, Little Johnnie’s dad had a talk with him and explained that the baby had no ears.

His dad also told him that if he so much mentioned anything about the baby’s missing ears or even said the word ears, he would get the smacking of his life when they came back home.

Little Johnnie told his dad he understood completely. When Johnnie looked in the crib he said, ‘What a beautiful baby.

‘The mother said, ‘Why, thank you, Little Johnnie.

Johnnie said, ‘He has beautiful little feet and beautiful little hands, a cute little nose and really beautiful eyes. Can he see?’

‘Yes’, the mother replied, ‘we are so thankful; the Doctor said he will have 20/20 vision.’

‘That’s great’, said Little Johnnie, ‘coz he’d be in trouble if he needed glasses’.



They Think We’re Stupid


In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

On Tesco’s – Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom) — ‘Do not turn upside down.’

On Sainsbury’s peanuts — ‘Warning:contains nuts’

On Boot’s Children Cough Medicine — ‘Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication.’ (We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5 year-olds with head-colds off those bulldozers.)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding — ‘Product will be hot after heating.’ 

On a Sears hairdryer — Do not use while sleeping. 

On a bag of Fritos — You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside. 

On a bar of Dial soap — ‘Directions: Use like regular soap.’ (and that would be???….)

On some Swanson frozen dinners — ‘Serving suggestion: Defrost.’ (but, it’s just a suggestion.)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron — ‘Do not iron clothes on body.’ (but wouldn’t this save me time?)

On Nytol Sleep Aid — ‘Warning: May cause drowsiness.’

On most brands of Christmas lights — ‘For indoor or outdoor use only.’ (as opposed to what?)

On a Japanese food processor — ‘Not to be used for the other use.’ (now, somebody out there, help me on this. I’m a bit curious.)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts — ‘Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.’ (Step 3: say what?)

On a child’s Superman costume — ‘Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.’

On a Swedish chainsaw — ‘Do not attempt to stop chainsaw with your hands.’ 





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