Saturday 16 December 2017

It's hard to cope without a regular supply of sport


CAN YOU hear it? Can you hear the distant rustle of nets being unhooked from the back of goalposts, a crisp black-sack unravelled to force in that little-bit-too-big ball-gatherer. Can you hear the pitch-marking flags being slotted into that golf bag that's just dirty enough to cover up an Autumn Red rust?

Can you see it? Can you see the clubhouse, door dead-bolted, windows boasting six months of cobwebs that even a hard winter won't shift. Can you see the painted lines - the speckled whitewash - the white protruding out above ground-hogging the green grass, like the club's star footballer a few months after his last dyejob.

Well people, we are almost there. Indeed, the end of the G.A.A. season is here for many clubs. For others only the glamour of 'Europe', or the Leinster Club championship as it's more commonly known, remains. Boots stowed away, knicks stored that little bit more faded than last year, the club Secretary pestering you for that 'missing' jersey. The time is nigh.

A recent study by Social Guide, a Brooklyn-based company that describes itself as 'The most comprehensive social TV analytical & audience engagement platform', found that 44 per cent of all television-related tweets concern sport.

Simply, almost half of all tweets that are TV related are actually about sport on TV.

Think about that. A social media, flooded by 'tweens' and teens alike, who love reality TV, and sport is the dominant topic up for discussion. And to think, some editors still don't appreciate the power that sport possesses, particularly in the print media.

It's that insatiable appetite for sport that leaves us all depressed at this time of year, yearning for it to all start again. Look at Aindreas Doyle (@ aindreasdoyle) who tweeted this past week: 'Looking forward to meeting the new Wexford management tonight. A lot to look forward to in the coming year. #GAA #OnwardsandUpwards'.

County players, who put in so much work, already looking forward to getting back at it. The desire to get back may not hit you in the coming days, it may not hit you this or next week, but soon enough you'll be yearning for clashing ash and ample handpasses.


On a quiet week for sport, and unfortunately we'll have plenty of those to come in the next few months, a 'Trending' regular deservedly gets the nod again. Two years ago the Ireland Under-17s defeated powerhouses Germany, the winners of the two previous championships, to make the European final. Now a handful of those players are back together in a bid to qualify for the Under-19 competition.

The opening stage of qualification is taking place at the moment and, in Rianna Jarrett, Wexford has a player who featured in the 2010 tournament, and is involved now. The Youths striker, who has been in superb goalscoring form this season, grabbed a goal in the opening clash against Cyprus. She tweeted (@ RiannaJarrett): 'Beat Cyprus 3-0 could have and should have scored a lot more but we got the 3 points that's all that matters :) # COYGIG'. With clashes against Latvia and Serbia following, no doubt Jarrett will find the target again.

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