Sarsfields Weekly Newsletter

November 8, 2018



The Weekly Online Newsletter of Sarsfields GAA Club


Sarsfields Annual Race Night Friday November 30th.




Junior Hurling Championship Final


Athy 3-10 Sarsfields 1-10.



After losing two finals Athy finally prevailed and were crowned county champions in Sallins on Saturday when they deservedly overcame Sarsfields by six points. It was a   good quality game despite the atrocious underfoot conditions and driving rain for most of the game and both teams deserve credit for the high standard and level of skills on display.

            In the first quarter Athy were completely dominant and at the end of that period were 6 points to the good thanks to the sublime shooting skills of half forward Keith Curran who scored four and one each from full forward JJ Grace and half forward Oisin Doherty. Sarsfields finally got into the game when in the space of two minutes  Full Forward Joe Murray scored a point Corner forward Mick Aherne pounced from close range to score a goal. This galvanised the Sarsfields lads and four points in succession from Mick Aherne, Danny Watson and Joe Murray (2) reduced the deficit to just one point 1-6 to 1-5 with 5 minutes remaining in the first half. A JJ Grace point on twenty six minutes was followed up with a goal for Athy after a fine save from Sarsfields goalkeeper Dennis Lehart rebounded to Noel Dempsey whose shot went in off the upright to give Athy a four point lead 2-7 to 1-6 which they held until the break.

If Athy had a superb marksman in Keith Curran his counterpart on the Sarsfields team was Midfielder Olan O’ Mahoney who scored five minutes after the resumption to reduce the deficit to three points. Keith Curran cancelled Olan O’Mahoney’s fine strike a few minutes later. However two superb strikes from 45 metres from Olan O’ Mahoney reduced the deficit to just two points. Mick Lalor added a point for Athy before Oisin Doherty scored the decisive score of the game with an unstoppable shot to give Athy an unassailable six-point lead 3-9 to 1-9 with ten minutes remaining Thereafter Sarsfields were chasing the game and Olan O’ Mahoney fourth point in the second half was counteracted in fine style by an excellent JJ Grace point.

The main platform for Athy’s victory was the stranglehold the Athy halfback line held over Sarsfields half forward line in the second half and this was reflected in the fact that all of Sarsfields four second half points came from Sarsfields midfield marksman Olan O’Mahoney. With the Athy half back line and midfield supplying plenty of ball to the forwards the Sarsfields defence was under pressure all during game especially from the forward quartet of Keith Curran, Oisin Doherty Noel Dempsey, and JJ Grace but the Sarsfields defence performed well in the face of the constant onslaught. 

This game proved that the work that is being put into hurling in Kildare is beginning to pay of in terms of raising standards and that hurling that has for so long played second fiddle to football is definitely on an upward curve in the county.    


Athy: Christy Lawler, Liam O’Connell, Ken Darcy, Alan Bowden, Thomas “Tucker” Owens (Capt) Martin Leahy, Dean Martin, John Leahy, Brian Darcy, Oisin Doherty, (1-1) Mick Doyle. Keith Curran,(0-5) Noel Dempsey,(2-0) JJ Grace, (0-3) Mick Lalor.(0-1)


Both manager Liam O’Dwyer and selector Barney Breslin in emotional speeches to the players gathered in the clubhouses after their meal on Saturday evening thanked them for the tremendous effort that they had put in during the year. Thank you Liam, Barney, Dinny and Pat for the effort that you have put in throughout the year culminating in a league title and county final appearance..



U21 Football Semi Final: Sarsfields 0-10 Celbridge 0-6


Well done to the U21 footballers on reaching the County Final for the second year running after defeating Celbridge on Saturday. Alan Smith’s three, second half points was a vital contribution to the win. The win was a great team effort. The work ethic that has been instilled in this team by the management is commendable. They play as a team should, working hard for each other. The response by the players to the management team of Alan, Ziggy and Liam is the reason that they are back in the final again this year. For too many years the U21 football set up was virtually and inexplicably ignored in the club. It just shows what can be done when the effort is put in and the calibre of the management that we have is in place. The vital difference in our reversal of fortunes was undoubtedly the appointment of the present management team last year all Senior Championship winners. Hopefully they can go one better than last year and win it on Saturday. John Roddy said on KFM that while Sarsfields are a good team, St Laurences would have too much upfront and too much in the tank for Sarsfields. He said the same about Balyna before the minor final. Here’s hoping that he will be proved wrong again! Throw in at 2pm in St. Conleths Park. Please come out on Saturday and support the team.



Sarsfields Annual Race Night


Sarsfields annual dog night will be held on Friday 30th November. Tickets are now available priced at €10 or €25 for a family ticket. If anyone knows a company/business that might be interested in sponsoring a race, (€500), or a half page ad in the race card (€250), please forward the contact details to organising committee members, Marie Clancy (087-1323764) or Brian Dempsey (087-2848396). would all managers please ensure they have tickets for distribution Anyone interested, in doing some bar work in the club – MUST be 18 years or over – is asked to contact Marie Clancy (087-1323764) or Monica Scanlon (087-7934780). The rates for functions are €10 per hour. Previous experience is not necessary, as training will be provided.


Leinster Club Championships Results & Fixtures

Quarter final Replay AET: Dromad 0-12 Moorefield 0-12. Second replay on Sunday at 2pm in St. Conleths Park. St Vincents (Dublin) (1-12) Seneschalstown (Meath) (0-10) Semi Finals: Moorefield/Dromad v Tyrrelspass (Westmeath) Portlaoise v St. Vincents.

Dec 9: Final:  Live on TG4 AIB Leinster Club Football Championship Final   Throw-

in: 2:00pm. Coverage 1.45


Leinster four to play second fiddle to Celine Dion next Summer

By Martin Breheny

Thursday November 15 2007


Celine Dion will force four Leinster counties out of Croke Park for their provincial football quarter-finals next June.

Dion is due to play a concert in Croke Park on Friday, May 30, which means the stadium will not be available for GAA action that weekend. That means two football quarter-finals, normally a double-header , being switched to provincial venues on Sunday June 1.

The pairings involved feature Laois v Kildare or Wicklow and Wexford v Meath or Carlow. If it’s Laois v Kildare, the game will be played in Tullamore, while Carlow will stage the game if it’s Wicklow v Laois. Meath v Wexford would be played in Carlow, while Carlow v Wexford would be played in Nowlan Park.

While Leinster are happy to improvise in circumstances which are outside their control, the unavailability of Croke Park on a June weekend raises the issue of whether concert bookings should be taken during the championship season. Concerts are a rich source of revenue for the GAA — they earn over €1m for a full house — but there are many who believe that Croke Park should always be available for the playing of championship games.

At a time when sensitivities are running high between the GPA and the GAA, it won’t have gone unnoticed that Croke Park is being used as a revenue generator rather than being available for a Leinster championship action which, if played as a double header, would attract over 50,000.

Meanwhile, there’s growing concern among counties over what they perceive to be an over-crowded football fixtures schedule in July-August next year. The All-Ireland qualifiers will be played off over three successive weekends, starting on July 19 and those who survive will head straight into the quarter-finals, which means they’ll have been in action on four consecutive weekends.

The tighter schedule is designed to leave more time for club programmes but there’s certain to be complaints when some counties find themselves with such a busy schedule.

Waterford hurlers felt that their prospects of winning the All-Ireland title were seriously hampered by having to play three big games in 14 days last summer but it’s going to be even more severe on some football counties next near as they will have four games on successive weekends.


GAA celebrates Bloody Sunday anniversary

Wednesday, November 14

The G.A.A. Museum will commemorate the 87th anniversary of Bloody Sunday with historical guided tours of Croke Park on Sunday November 18th at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

On the 21st November 1920 events outside of the G.A.A brought politics into the heart of the Association. The G.A.A. Museum remembers the tragedy of Bloody Sunday with special commemorative guided tours of the Stadium. There are three tours to choose from- 11.30am, 13.30pm and 15.30pm. Please note that the 3.30pm tour only will include the laying of a special commemorative wreath.

Booking is essential, as places are limited.


To Book:

Tickets, priced at €7.00 (adults), €6.00 (concessions) and €5.00 (children), are available to purchase from the G.A.A. Museum, Croke Park. 


The GAA Museum, Croke Park, St Joseph’s Avenue, Dublin 3

Further information available from Selina O’ Regan

Education Officer at the G.A.A Museum Tel (01) 8192361/8192323

Email or visit



Pat Spillane Thinks He Is God

Pat Spillane, Colm O’Rourke, and Jarlath Burns are standing before 
God at the throne of Heaven. 
God looks at them and says; ‘Before granting you a place at my side, I 
must first ask you what you believe in.’ 
Addressing Colm O’Rourke first, he asks ‘What do you believe?’ 
O’Rourke looks God in the eye, and states passionately,” I believe 
Gaelic football to be the food of life. Nothing else brings such 
unbridled joy to so many people, from the slums of East Tyrone, to the 
kingdom of Kerry. I have devoted my life to bring such joy to those 
people who stood on the terraces supporting their club and county’ 
God looks up and offers Colm the seat to his left. 
He then turns to Jarlath Burns. ‘And you, Mr Burns. What do you 
Jarlath stands tall and proud, ‘I believe courage, honour and passion 
are the fundamentals to life, and I’ve spent my whole playing career 
providing a living embodiment of these traits’. 
God, moved by the passion of the speech offers Jarlath the seat to his 
Finally, he turns to Pat Spillane. ‘And you, Mr Spillane. What do you 
‘I believe’, says Pat, ‘that you’re in my seat’. 


The Memory Man


An Irishman was touring the USA on holiday and stopped in a remote bar
in the hills of Nevada. He was chatting to the bartender when he spied
an old Indian sitting in the corner with his tribal gear on, long
white plaits, and an incredibly wrinkled face.
‘Who’s he?’ said the Paddy.
‘That’s the Memory Man.’ said the bartender. ‘He knows everything. He
can remember any fact. Go on, try him out.’
So the Irishman goes over, and thinking that he won’t know anything
about hurling, asks ‘Who won the 1996 Munster Semi Final played in the
Gaelic Grounds?’
‘Limerick,’ replies the Memory Man.
‘Who did they beat?’
‘Clare,’ was the reply.
‘And the score?’
’15 points to 1-13.’
‘Who scored the winning point?’
‘Ciarán Carey,’ was the old man’s reply.

The Irishman was knocked out by this and, when he returned home, Told
all his friends and relatives about the amazing Memory Man.
Five years later he went back to the USA and tried to find the
Impressive Memory Man again. Eventually he found the bar and there,
sitting in the same seat, was the Indian, looking older and even more
The Irishman was delighted to see him, and, deciding to greet the
Indian in his native tongue, approached him with the greeting ‘How’.
‘Solo-run out of the half back line.’ replied the Memory Man.


Michael O’ Muircheartaigh Classics

‘… and Brian Dooher is down injured. And while he is, i’ll tell
ye a little story. I was in Times’ Square in New York last week, and I was missing the Championship back home. So I approached a newsstand and I said ‘I suppose ye wouldn’t have the Kerryman would ye?’ To which,the Egyptian behind the counter turned to me and he said ‘do you want the North Kerry edition or the South Kerry edition?’… he had both…so I bought both. And Dooher is back on his feet…’


‘I saw a few Sligo people at Mass in Gardiner Street this morning
and the omens seem to be good for them, the priest was wearing the same colours as the Sligo jersey! 40 yards out on the Hogan stand side of the field Ciaran Whelan goes on a rampage, Oh its a goal. So much for religion.’


Colin Corkery on the 45 lets go with the right boot. It’s over the
bar. This man shouldn’t be playing football. He’s made an almost
Lazarus-like recovery from a heart condition. Lazarus was a great man
but he couldn’t kick points like Colin Corkery.

Best Known Man In The World

There was a man named Eric and Eric knew EVERYONE in the whole world!!! Once when Eric got a new job, Eric says to his new boss, ‘Boss, I know everyone in the whole world!’ His boss doesn’t believe him, so he says ‘No you do not know everyone in the whole world’ but Eric says ‘Yes I do!’ so Eric’s boss says ‘Well prove it!’ then Eric says ‘Pick someone… and I bet I know them!’

Well Eric’s boss thinks for a minute and then comes up with a name. ‘Gabriel Byrne! I bet you don’t know Gabriel Byrne!’ Eric says ‘Gabriel Byrne! Gabriel and I were in boy scouts together when we were kids!’ but Eric’s boss says ‘No you weren’t!’ then Eric says ‘Yes we were!’ So they fly to Hollywood and drive up to Gabriel Byrne’s house. Eric knocks on the door and Gabriel Byrne answers and Eric goes ‘Gabriel!!!’ and Gabriel goes ‘Eric!’ and they hug and catch up for 30 minutes before Gabriel brings them on a tour of the Studios. Eric’s boss still can’t believe it. But then he thinks ‘Well that could happen, it’s just one person,’ So he tells Eric this when they get home and Eric says ‘OK, pick somebody else!’

This time Eric’s boss has someone in mind! ‘The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern! You don’t know Bertie Ahern!’ but Eric says ‘Oh yes I do! Bertie and I met in Croke Park years ago and now we go for pints in Drumcondra every time Kildare play Dublin. In fact you could say I’m one of his advisors now!’ Eric’s boss says ‘No you don’t and no you aren’t!’ and Eric says ‘Yes we do and yes I am!’ So they go to Dublin and they catch up with the Taoiseach at a press conference. They work their way through the crowd until Eric gets close enough to catch Bertie’s eye and waves and shouts ‘Bertie!’ and the Taoiseach waves and shouts ‘Eric!’  After the press conference Bertie brings them to the Dail restaurant for lunch and Eric’s boss is stunned– he can’t believe it. He is further amazed when Eric says to Bertie “I see you passed that bit of legislation we talked about in Fagan’s. And Bertie replies I , I I eh eh, I did, da da that’s right Eric. But then Eric’s Boss thinks ‘Well that’s just two people in two countries– that doesn’t mean he knows everyone in the whole world!’ so he tells Eric and Eric says ‘OK, pick someone famous in the world and I bet I will know them!’

And Eric’s boss knows just who to pick so he says ‘The Pope! You do not know the Pope!’ and Eric says ‘The Pope! Of course I do. Sure The Pope BAPTIZED me!’ and Eric’s boss says ‘No he didn’t! I don’t believe it’ and Eric says ‘Yes he did!’ So they fly to Rome where the Pope is giving Mass in front of hundreds of thousands of people. They work their way through the crowd– without much luck– so Eric says ‘Boss, we’re never going to get there together through all these people so I tell you what–I’ll work my way up there and when I do, I’ll give you a sign that shows you I know the Pope!’ and he leaves. Well Eric’s boss waits and waits and waits and just when he’s about to give up, he sees the Pope come out onto the balcony and right there beside him is Eric wearing his Sarsfields jersey!

Shortly afterwards, Eric’s boss passes out. Eric comes back and finds his boss passed out and he fans him and says ‘Boss! Boss! Wake up!’ and when his boss comes to, he asks ‘Boss what happened?’ Eric’s boss looks at Eric and says ‘OK, I can see Gabriel Byrne. I can see Bertie Ahern… hell, I can even take the Pope! But when somebody standing next to me asks ‘Who’s that up there with Eric? That was a little more than I could take!


Sean O’ Leary’s Lunch Break.


Seanie  is about to tuck into his sambo- that’s what he calls it when he’s with his Dub colleagues in E. P Mooney’s- when he gets an urgent knock on his office door. It’s his boss Pauric. “Sean, there is a shaven headed thug in a Celtic Jersey harassing Derek Kennedy”. “Oh that’s ok “, says Seanie nonplussed. “That’ll be me brother in – law Michael looking for money for the Sash and talking football with Derek”. “ looking for money for the Sash? I’d hardly expect to see a fellow in a Celtic jersey to be collecting money for the Orangemen”. says Pauric with a puzzled look on his face “No It’ll be sponsorship for  Sarsfields Race night he‘s looking for. I’m reading about it here in the Sash Newsletter”.  In fact I’m reading about you too Pauric” What are they saying about U2”? “Nothing about U2 it’s about you.” “Well what are they saying about me”? They’re thanking you for taking out an add in last year’s race card”. “That’s nice of them. Isn’t it a bit late though to be thanking us now”? “I think it’s nice way of reminding you that they’re looking for sponsorship again this year”. “Oh that reminds me the Sales Showroom League are looking for our entry fee for the forthcoming League”. “The what” says Seanie. “I know, I know they used to call it the Garages League when I started out”, says Pauric. “It’s all PC nowadays and I don’t mean your PC there that your supposed to be compiling this months sales figures on instead of reading the Sarsfields Newsletter.

Ah yes before PC those were the days when the garage mechanic was the all rounder so to speak. He was mechanic, salesman, part accountant and office administrator all rolled into one. And there were none of these pristine showrooms like we have now. And the suit was for Sundays only. The aul oily blue overalls were the standard uniform. No self respecting garage mechanic would be seen without one in the pub after work and the dirtier the better. No back then the mechanic was one minute servicing the car while the growing ash from his fag, no longer able to defy the laws of gravity fell on to the engine, and it was usually accompanied by a splutter that was hard to tell whether it was from the car’s engine or from the mechanic’s 100 fag a day chest – and the next minute attending to a customer looking to buy one of our top of the range Hillman Hunters. I think we had two in fact, one green and one blue. Some people think that open plan is a recent invention. Not at all. We had it in those days. The garage was truly open plan then with the workshop and the sales area combined and the holes in the galvanised roof came in handy when it was raining so the mechanic could wash his hands and dry them with an oily rag before shaking hands with the customer and making him a cup of tea in a cup that had a variety of uses –no need here to go into details- as well as drinking tea from. That’s what customer care came amounted to then and we had no complaints. Although the computer was very basic then it worked perfectly well, no need for fancy Excel spreadsheets; when the mechanic got a chance he took the butt of the greasy pencil from behind his ear – the other ear held the unlit fag – and compiled the sales figures on the back of an empty pack of Major before filing it on a rusty nail on the workshop wall, making sure of course it was high enough up so that the workshop mice couldn’t nibble a chunk out of the month’s profit. Back then staff bonding was a few pints and a game of darts in the local; we had none of this staff bonding nonsense weekends up in the Wicklow Mountains or management and customer care courses. The boss was the boss and there was none of these ten a penny consultancy firms getting money for old rope telling him to run his company with phoney Americanisms and idiotic motivational posters all over the place. The only motivational posters then that the mechanic would allow and approve of was the page 3 model stuck up on a nail beside his filing cabinet of Major packets where she gazed down lovingly and where her assets could be viewed as the mechanic went about his work. There was only one workshop rule; no oily hands were to mark the vision of beauty of the daily guest on the workshop wall. You could look but you couldn’t touch. Health and safety was looked after by the apprentice and consisted of once a month sweeping the rough concrete floor and quick check to see if there was any leaks in the bog and to make sure that there was enough oil for the paraffin heater. There was no need either for expensive security firms with names like ‘A1 and B there for U 24/7’. Security was provided by the distempered Alsatian tied up to the chained linked fence in the gravelled forecourt, the ferocious gleam in his rheumy eyes and his drooling, maniacal countenance would put the fear of rabies in any would be thief. Anyhow nowadays it’s all about image over substance. The days of the old time mechanic are well behind him, an oily icon rusting away in the memory like an old Hillman Hunter, no place left for him in this era of polish and gleam.

Now are you sure that fellow out there in the green jersey is your brother in law”? says Pauric as he came out of his reverie about his remembrance and glorification of the old-time mechanic.  “I am”, says Seanie “and the next time you see him though he might be wearing a blue shirt figuratively speaking”  “You mean he’s thinking of supporting Glasgow Rangers. If Derek hears this there’ll be murder on the showroom floor, Derek being a hardcore card carrying Celtic supporter. We can’t have this I told you image is everything”  “ No don’t worry he won’t be supporting Rangers. It’s just that he’s joining Fine Gael!”  


 Coaches Corner


Getting cold on the issue of ice-baths


According to a report on the BBC website, results from a study carried out at the University of Melbourne have thrown some cold, if not altogether icy, water on the theory behind the practice of ice baths after training and matches.

The theory is that the icy cold causes the blood vessels to tighten, and drains the blood, along with waste products such as lactic acid, out of the legs. Limbs fill up with fresh blood, which invigorates the muscles with oxygen and helps the cells repair.
The University of Melbourne study expected to find a 25 per cent reduction in pain after 48 hours among those who had the ice immersion. Instead, it found that there was no difference in physical pain measurements such as swelling or tenderness, and, in fact, those who had been in the ice reported more pain when going from a sitting to a standing position after 24 hours than those who had the tepid treatment.

“(The findings would suggest that) Ice-water immersion offers no benefit for pain, swelling, isometric strength and function,’ wrote the researchers, “and in fact may make more athletes sore the next day.”

It was unclear why the ice had this effect, and the researchers said further study was needed. John Brewer, Director of the Lucozade Sports Science Academy, doesn’t find it surprising that there was no difference between the two samples.

“I don’t find it hard to believe that the ice doesn’t have any long-term benefit, although I would question whether the ice group really did feel more pain after 24 hours than the tepid group. The problem with pain is that it is subjective and very hard to measure,” he said.

“And because it’s subjective, there may even be a placebo effect on those who take the cold bath. It’s part of their ritual, it finishes off the endurance test, and many clearly report that it makes them feel better.”


The food of champions
“What should my players eat when in training or before a big game?” – senior club hurling manager.



The food of champions


Mary McNicholas, an accredited sports dietician based in Westport, has worked with inter-county teams:


“The first thing to remember about getting a player’s diet right is that there is no quick fix. It is something that starts way before you go out to play a match.

Your diet is some thing that goes with you all your life so if you get into good practices early on you will reap the rewards. It is really a combination of simple things that will make the difference, but you should get players into the habit of eating right.

Any athlete’s diet is made up of high carbohydrates and fluids. Carbohydrates should make up 70 per cent of a player’s diet with fat and protein and fluids making up the rest. You will see gyms pushing the importance of a high-protein diet but protein has more fat, and fat is something the body is very good at storing.

One gram of carbohydrate has four calories while one gram of fat has nine calories, so you can see why carbs are the single most important factor.

Obviously your level of intake of carbs should correspond to your level of activity, but it is vital that people keep up their level of carbs. Unfortunately, the body isn’t too good at retaining carbs so that is why you have to top up regularly.

That means plenty of bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and fruit and vegetables. The 30 minutes after training or exercise are a crucial period as that is when the body is most open to absorbing carbohydrates. If you don’t top up and go training again a day later, you’re stores will soon reach zero and you’ll leave yourself more susceptible to injury.

On the day of a game you should be eating a minimum of two hours before a game but in reality all your preparation should be done at that point. What food is eaten on the day should be easily digestible and palatable.”



The art of free-taking
“Any tips for being a successful free-taker in Gaelic football. I have started taking frees recently and would like to develop this side of my game?” – club player



The art of free-taking



Always ask someone who knows. And few players in the last 30 years could kick frees as well as Mayo’s Maurice Sheridan.

Here are his Ten Top Tips.


1.           Place the ball correctly – with the writing on the O’Neill’s facing you, the valve pointing up, and concentrate on the ‘i’ on the O’Neill’s panel facing you.

2.           Visualise the score as you place the ball. Paint a mental picture of the ball sailing over the bar. Overload your brain with this image as you place the ball.

3.           Pick your target – it might be the ‘can of Coke’ on the net behind the goal, or the branch of the tree, or something like that. The smaller the target the more successful you will be.

4.           Take your steps back slowly. All the time visualise the score while glancing frequently at the posts.  Shorter kicks require fewer steps back

5.           Never ever lift your head on the run into the ball. And it’s very important that the run-in to the ball is slow.

6.           Your eyes should be wide open at the point of contact. Try and watch for the point of contact between the boot and the ball. Keep your head down after the impact.

7.           Relax your foot at the point of striking the ball. Swing through the line of the ball with your leg. Extend your leg through to the desired target.

8.           Maintain your posture, tempo and balance through the ball

9.           To be a successful free-taker you must have total confidence in your ability to put the ball over the bar. You must develop this confidence because it is central to becoming a reliable free-taker. Being accurate is a behaviour achieved through practice. There is no shortcut.

10.        In summary: Visualise. Be confident. Practice. Be slow. Score.



Tackling tackling

“I can’t get them to tackle enough in games. Any thoughts?” – Frustrated club manager.




Tackling tackling


Mickey McGeehin is Director of the National Coaching and Training Centre in Limerick, and a Master GAA Tutor. Here are his thoughts:


“I use a drill where you line up six players in Group A, one behind the other, on the sideline.

You line up another six players in Group B, one behind the other, facing the other six about 25 metres away. Give the first, third and fifth player in each group a ball.

In the middle of the 25-metre space between the two groups, put down three cones about 4m apart. Player 1 on each side solos with the ball, followed by Player 2 a few seconds later, and Player 3 a few seconds later again.

Each player weaves around the cones. So you have three players soloing through the space and cones from each side, at a time. Each player is told to do three things:

1.       Try to dispossess every player soloing towards him, either by knocking the ball away or by a shoulder.

2.       Protect the ball he is soloing.

3.       Get through the tackles on him.

If a player dispossesses another player, he kicks the ball away about 30 metres, and the dispossessed player must chase after it and get back into the group. An important thing is that you don’t get two bites at dispossessing a player – everyone keeps soloing on through, and passing to the next guy in the group at the other end.

The focus is on getting through the tackle.

Your tackle or shoulder must be sweet. Players shouldering tackle bags tend to go in low to them. In this drill, they must meet the other guy shoulder to shoulder.

This drill promotes good tackling and shouldering, speeds up thought processes as players need to be keeping an eye out on what’s coming next, and is game-specific from a conditioning point of view.

Do it for about eight minutes, with breaks every two minutes. Done right, it is extremely intense and beneficial.

In time, you can push the ‘middle zone’ out about eight metres into the field, so that players have to turn a corner to get out to it, and back again. That will make it even more interesting.”




The Sarsfields Lotto is held every Monday night in the Clubhouse. As well as buying tickets from members you can play via direct debit (forms available from the clubhouse or from your usual seller) or play online on the Sarsfields Website no matter where you or Google /Yahoo Sarsfields GAA or Sarsfields GAA Newbridge


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