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Shake-up Paul Galvin could be the guy to challenge Peter Keane and his management team, and that might be what's required

Paul Galvin is reported to be pondering an offer to become the new Kerry football coach

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 Paul Galvin could be the man to help reinvigorate the Kerry team

Paul Galvin could be the man to help reinvigorate the Kerry team

Paul Galvin could be the man to help reinvigorate the Kerry team

No matches, no training, padlocks on the gates of GAA grounds. Yet, unbelievably, there are no shortage of GAA topics to comment on.

This is an eclectic kind of column as the subjects include Paul Galvin, Zak Moradi, Michael Darragh Macauley, Keith Higgins, and the Valentia Island GAA club.

Paul Galvin is reported to be pondering an offer to become the new Kerry football coach. When I heard the story, I thought of Fr Dougal's immortal 'That's mad Ted' line from the hit TV series.

So, Kerry manager Peter Keane is going to bring in somebody with little or no coaching experience, who is currently living in County Mayo, and who had a chequered innings during his short stint as Wexford manager, not coach, last year.

Galvin and Keane are both single-minded individuals - so the chances of them working harmoniously together appear remote.

Three things could happen. Galvin could turn down the offer. Or, if he gets involved, it could go spectacularly wrong.

But there is a chance, a chance, that it could actually work.

I've met Galvin only a couple of times and I don't know him personally. But I've admired him from a distance.

Like Keane, he is a successful businessman. He is very much his own man and he doesn't suffer fools gladly.

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Zak Moradi went from a Ramadi refugee camp to eventually becoming a Leitrim hurler. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Zak Moradi went from a Ramadi refugee camp to eventually becoming a Leitrim hurler. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Zak Moradi went from a Ramadi refugee camp to eventually becoming a Leitrim hurler. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

His views on Gaelic football are always very interesting because he thinks creatively.

Best of all, Galvin is not from the cosy circle that dominates Kerry management teams these days.

He is the sort of guy who could challenge Keane and his management team, and that might be precisely what's required.

Look, I could give you loads of reasons why it won't work.

Yet it might be worth a gamble and could even prove to be an inspired choice.

And if Galvin becomes coach, we are in for an interesting few months in Kerry football.

My TV viewing comprises mostly of sport, current affairs programmes, and the Late Late Show. But, of late, I've grown tired of the Late Late.

There is far too much gloom and doom, too many sad stories and far too much Covid-19 coverage on it.

In these difficult times we need an escape valve on Friday nights. We want to be entertained.

For the last few weeks, I've tuned in to the Tommy Tiernan show for my weekend entertainment. His show on Saturday night is TV gold.

His interview with Zak Moradi, the Leitrim and Thomas Davis hurler was riveting.

Listening to Zak's story was inspirational. Born in a refugee camp in Ramadi, his Kurdish family were resettled in Carrick-on-Shannon in 2002.

It made me proud to be a member of the GAA. Zak shone a light on what's so good about the GAA: its diversity, its welcome and being part of a community, which looks out for each other.

Watching the interview made me believe there is hope for Ireland again.

The era of the Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes are in the past.

But things are far from perfect. I thought the recent report into the Mother and Baby Homes scandal was a cop-out.

Worse still, we have another societal scandal happening in front of our eyes.

I'm referring to Direct Provision Centres where we throw asylum seekers, with little thought given to their well-being.

So much for Ireland of the welcomes.

What drives me to distraction is that a small cohort of people, with political connections, are creaming millions of Euro off the state for providing these centres.

So, thank you Zak for up providing us with such an uplifting story.

You illustrated the fact that some refugee stories do have happy conclusions.

I wrote a column on the topic of retirements recently and if I was lazy, I could write about the subject every week.

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Paul Mannion is taking a break. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Paul Mannion is taking a break. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Paul Mannion is taking a break. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Here's an idea for a start-up business - launch a GAA retirement.ie domain - where every club and county retirement could be recorded and all the good wishes from fans and friends could be posted.

Is it only high-profile players who retire these days?

I haven't heard a word from any player from the weaker counties hanging up their boots.

Remember they were as dedicated as the high-profile ones who have walked away.

Except for Paul Mannion - who has stepped away rather than retired - all the others who retired this year were in the twilight era of their careers.

Michael Darragh Macauley's record speaks for itself though I believe one description of him, as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, is a bit OTT.

Nonetheless, he was a warrior who brought great physicality and athleticism to the table and departs the stage with eight All-Ireland inter-county medals - and one club one.

Kerry fans are still haunted by the memory of the role he played in setting up Kevin McManamon's famous goal in the dying minutes of the epic 2013 All-Ireland semi-final.

Meanwhile, Mayo's Keith Higgins bows out without a senior medal. Sport is very cruel.

Higgins was one of my favourite Mayo players. He doubled up as a brilliant man-marker and an attacking defender.

Even on bad days for Mayo he never allowed his standards to dip.

He was a natural leader and may be one of the last ever dual players at inter-county level.

Six Mayo players have now retired since their All-Ireland final loss to Dublin.

It signals the end of a golden era for this team of warriors.

Sadly, all six must now come to terms with the fact that they will never get their hands on that elusive Celtic Cross.

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