Tuesday, February 13, 2007

FRIENDLY FIRE

It's been an unusually quiet week in walkthechalk.com land. Although I am loathe to utter the words for fear of unleashing doom and pillage, that fear shall be set aside - it's been just like a normal off season week.

OK, we had the announcements regarding the induction of Juventus Wexford and the Limerick 37 have been freed; those proclamations were well flagged. Things didn't manage to get any worse for Shelbourne - and the impending pronouncements from the First Instance Committee are likely to reinforce widely held expectation, more so than shock.

The transfer activity has eased off to a trickle, but with just a couple of weeks to go before the window slams shut, a late flurry is to be anticipated. There are hopeful sounds down by the Lee; if el Rico can secure Colin Healy's signature it would go some way towards spreading some optimism about in Turner's Cross and it's environs; maybe it would also go some way towards finalising the capture of his other targets.

The close season sale at Longford Town seems to have ended; should Alan Matthews be staying on he needs to get stacking the shelves again. Dermot Ahern's fatuous All-Ireland suggestion has already run out of eco-friendly fuel.

The nouveau-riche are training in sunnier climes, while at the other end of the mercury, Brendan Rea attempts to cobble a squad together capable of keeping eL football at Buckley Park. The 'friendly' season is now with us; and those desperate for a fix follow their side via strange watering holes hoping to catch a sight of some blossoming potential.

One such fixture involved a trip to the burgeoning town of Newbridge where the Thoroughbreds hosted the Shamrock Rovers roadshow last Saturday. Kildare County modelled their lovely new kit for 2007; Pat Scully sported a new coat, it seems grey is the new black. I wish the same applied to hair!

Whether the game was good, bad or none of the above it just felt good to be attending a match again. The scent of boiling water and powdered soup on a cold February day forms a potent aroma. Bottle it and give it to your Valentine - it's novel and personal - the perfect gift combination, sure to melt the hardest heart.

Enough of fluffy romance. It's now less than two weeks to the Setanta Cup kick off. The 2007 fixture list will be pinned on the wall by the weekend. Referee's are polishing the peas, grounds have had a lick of paint; a high-powered FAI committee are meeting to decide what number the countdown will start at. Suffice to say, it won't be long now.

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