Monday, January 29, 2007


Those among you who spend their close season in the company of females, or effeminate males, are sure to have seen the movie entitled 'Little Voice'. For those of you who are having little success in engaging with the 'people who never break wind' here's a brief synopsis.

Extremely shy, introverted young lady pines for her deceased father, and is repulsed by the antics of her brassy mother. She locks herself away in her bedroom over the redundant record store where her father earned his crust. She shares a passion for the sounds of artistes such as Shirley Bassey, and has an amazing talent for mimicking the singing voices of her heroines.

She is discovered accidentally by one of her mother's conquests, a smalltime promoter. He sinks every cent he has into promoting a professional show centred around her undoubted talents; cajoles the most powerful and influential promoter figure on the circuit to come and see her and she fails to perform.

Listen out for the sig. tune at the end of Ian Dempsey's radio slot on Today FM, just before 9 am. It features Michael Caine screaming It's Over; it's his character in the film that loses everything when Little Voice fails to perform. He takes to the stage and loses the plot as he sees his world unravel in glorious surround sound.

Transport yourself to Tolka Park. While Oliver Byrne lay in his hospital bed, possibly with a 'phone in one hand and a drip in the other the show came to an end in Drumcondra. I have the depth of sympathy for Mr. Byrne - I believe this is a sentiment shared by the majority of the Irish football community- and I wish him a speedy recovery. Your health is your wealth.

Sanity prevails by the banks of the Tolka in the person of Finbar Flood. The combined exits of Messrs. Crowe, Baker, Harris and Rogers constitute the last act of a soon to be forgotten dream. Hopefully it will double as the foreword to a never to be forgotten lesson for Irish football.

Cork City, via Brian Lennox, are providing the leadership for the future by refusing to accept Reading's devaluation of Alan Bennett. In tandem with the Rebels' refusal to allow Roy O'Donovan cross the water for trials during the off-season, this illustrates confidence and nous.
Cynics will be rapid in pointing out how these qualities have been acquired; hindsight is almost as wonderful as x-ray vision.

We know our top players can cut it trasna an farraige; our constantly improving training facilities and methods mean it is easy for them to slip into the groove be it in England or Scotland. The imminent success of those players will herald the arrival of many more besuited types with wads of sterling. The lower leagues will always lose players to the highest echelons; no footballer worth his game will refuse the opportunity to test his ability against the best.

So as long as we keep producing the raw material there will be a market for it; respect and kudos will inevitably follow; youngsters will learn their trade here, and enrich their nursery club should they move on to bigger things on the football planet. It might even encourage a few more bodies into our grounds. The knowledge that these lads are playing a 20-minute drive away, rather than a 50-minute flight, may just begin to drizzle into a brainwashed skull or two. Unlikely it may seem, then so was the re-emergence of Rocky Balboa!

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