Donegal's biggest (and certainly loudest) fan and Tipp hurlers forced to grin and Bere it
In the first Hospital Pass of the week, we look at one of the loudest fans ever heard in Croke Park and some tough love for the Tipperary hurlers.
Probably Donegal's biggest and certainly Donegal's loudest fan
Take your seat in any GAA ground on any given Championship day during the summer and you’re liable to encounter a wide variety of characters, for fans of our native games certainly don’t fall under one all-encompassing umbrella.
Depending on the day you could be sandwiched between the GAA anorak listening to the radio and scribbling down every wide on the match programme on one side, while having your ear burnt off on the other by a Johnny come lately who has never been to a game in his life yet purports to know everything about how hurling or Gaelic Football should be played and says that the man in the dugout hasn’t a clue, even if said man in dugout happens to be, for instance, Brian Cody or Jack O’Connor.
One Donegal fan in Croke Park at the weekend happened to be sat in the vicinity of another category of GAA fan, the vocal one, who kicks every ball and provides a running commentary for everyone in close proximity, regardless of whether they like it or not.
The clip below might be less than 40 seconds long, but the female supporter featured can be heard roaring encouragement loudly for the duration and even turns around and tries to whip her fellow county people into a frenzy while she’s it.
YouTube credit: crazymackin2k8
Judging by that brief cameo, we can only assume that her behaviour lasted for the entire 70 minutes, meaning that her vocal cords should just about be back in working order by the time Jim McGuinness’ men take on Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final at the end of the month.
Tipp hurlers forced to grin and Bere it
The teams lucky enough to still be involved at this stage of the Championship can usually be confident enough that the tough slog of training is over and done with. It’s all about refining the game plan, focussing on the skills and making sure that nobody gets injured for the bigger days ahead. Or so you’d think.
Perhaps fearing that his Tipperary side might have fallen into a comfort zone ahead of their much anticipated All-Ireland semi-final with Kilkenny, Declan Ryan subjected his squad to an intensive couple of days training on Bere Island off West Cork the weekend before last.
According to a report in the Irish Examiner, the Tipp players underwent gruelling, military-style training while present at the army base, including exercises such as 15km runs and hauling sand bags and for that they can thank one of their coaching staff, Ross Dunphy, who is an army officer and works in the physical education school in the Curragh camp.
Conor Counihan did the same thing with his squad a few months before their All-Ireland success in 2010 and said it had a massive effect on his players, although the training was said to be so severe that some of the Tipp players couldn’t even complete it.
If they thought that was tough, wait until they go into battle with the Cats on Sunday week.