Club managers like Timmy deserve to be cut a little slack

Tom Dempsey's Hurling Analysis

Published 13/02/2016 | 00:00

Tom Dempsey
Tom Dempsey

Timmy is a modern-day club manager who rises as normal on Monday morning with a very busy work schedule ahead for the week.

Deadlines to meet, orders to fill and problems to solve in a self-employed business world that can be merciless in its time consumption and the pressure it imposes on the individuals that live within its walls.

He has a young family to provide for and yet despite all his day-to-day pressures his primary thought heading out the door is of Saturday night's league championship defeat which leaves his team just one result away from competition exit and a journey into the relegation play-offs.

He arrives at the office with the feeling that he was probably mad to take the big job at the A.G.M. for the simple reason that nobody else wanted it. His mind begins to focus on tonight's training session which will be vital to raise morale in preparation for the next winner-takes-all game.

Everything needs to be just right so he makes a quick call to his trusty trainer, Mick, to plan and tailor the session to ensure it meets all needs. The call takes a little longer than anticipated and on learning one of the key players is struggling with injury he makes a quick call to the number 11 to get an update on progress.

On completion he sets up a physio appointment to diagnose the problem and before he knows it a good chunk of his working morning has been consigned to history.

His focus on the business is interrupted mid-morning by a disgruntled player who was substituted last weekend and needs to meet him for a coffee to discuss his future in the panel. Coffee over, player back on board (player will make things good with his mother and sister who had also expressed a desire to offer advice to Timmy on team selection), and back to a customer who informs him of a late order that must be sorted by dinner time.

Panic begins to set in. Message left on mobile from the Chairman who needs to speak to him urgently. Somebody 'fecked' the number 17 jersey and the chief suspect has disappeared to New York yesterday morning.

Discussion takes place with the Chairman and conclusion agreed that some of these young lads have no respect for the jersey, and, if the said player ever returns he will be met at the Airport and dealt with severely. A quick call to the wife to check if the training bibs are washed. The call made all the quicker by the wife's reaction.

A good friend from outside the county who is managing a neighbouring club rings for some advice on upcoming opponents as he is not familiar with the local scene. He informs Timmy that he wasn't overly interested in the job but the terms and conditions were too tempting to turn it down.

Evening comes and Timmy leaves early to race home to drop little Mary to gymnastics just to alleviate a little pressure on the wife who has to drop the other three to three different locations for 7 p.m.

Water bottles filled, oranges cut and balls ready and it's off to the field. He feels that now is not the best time to inform herself that the make or break game has been re-fixed for the evening of the youngest one's Holy Communion, due to an inter-county game being brought forward to facilitate a Bruce Springsteen concert.

The day of the Communion (I mean match) arrives and due to a dubious umpiring decision relegation looms. The feeling within the parish is that the manager shouldn't be given time to get his coat. If truth be known he probably hasn't time to get his coat. By the way, the deadline for his work order was missed.

There are volunteers like him giving their time for the love of their club in many capacities all over the country. Mistakes will be made without motive and of course we all have the right to discuss, criticise and even look for change if we feel the job is not being properly done.

Logical thinking reminds us, however, that people like Timmy deserve encouragement, appreciation and to be cut a little slack if things don't work out.

Wexford People

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