Neil Ewing: The different demographics of the Telten Cup prove that the GAA . I still have interesting characters

“It was not my habit to attend the reception so as usual I headed home. As I lay limp on the train to Dublin that evening, my thoughts were not on the wine, the women, nor the song as might be expected. When I arrived on the island that night, I had a problem with securing my punt above the high water mark.

– Kerry legend and Valentia Islander Mick O’Connell recalled Sunday evening after captaining his county in the 1959 All-Ireland

Bleach blonde Owen Mulligan enjoying a long day of socializing seven days before winning the 2008 All-Ireland.

David Hickey, the eminent Dublin transplant surgeon who, in combination with a demanding career and playing semi-professional rugby in France, managed to take three Sams.

Farmers Liam Hernan and John Fenton star in TV commercials praising Cepravin’s efficiency in preventing mastitis in your flock.

Donegal was obsessed with bringing gear bags and an ‘evening wear’ bag to the ‘Spice Boys’ naughty game. A decent cast of what is often collectively referred to as ‘the characters’.

Modern games, most say, lack characters. Process-driven robots provide mundane quotes at stage-managed corporate events.

it is not true. We are not looking for the right place for the characters. Focus too much on a small smattering of high-profile players from a small elite. An elite with the resources to provide media guidance that protects their counties’ characters from mundane slip masks.

Certainly there are different demographics of GAA player in 2022, but there are still plenty of interesting characters! The Telten Cup is as good a snapshot of them as any. Without the heavy hand of a ‘media manager’ holding players back, there should be an avalanche of content if hacks are mined for craze.

The lack of characters in modern games is a notion. The notions of purely football vista are also present around every team in the country.

As the Telten Cup forms a crescent with its final round taking place at Crocker this weekend, I look at the perceptions and realities of football in each of the four semifinalists as well as a quick look at a character in each dressing room. insight.



“A great football county, they love their football”. The cliché most often pops out when Cavan is discussed. Division 4 was beneath them. Able to compete with multiple teams but not in the top table. A passionate following is waiting to be ignited.


After four consecutive Ulster U21 titles (2011–2014), he has achieved little at the senior level over the past decade. An Ulster title and an impatient tour of all four league divisions. Tyrone’s Peter Donnelly was a huge influence on those young successes, and his departure may be one reason why younger success has not been manifested at the senior level. Currently on the line is one of the game’s most talented managers, assisted by an All-Star, All-Ireland-winning player and former Inter-County manager.

Three All Star Players of 2020 on the field. Up front, Patrick Lynch is an elusive presence assisting the mighty Gyroid McKiernan. A win in this inaugural Teltane Cup campaign needs to be a building block that gets them back on the road to consistent spells in Division 1 and regularly upset their Ulster neighbours.


Teak-tuff defenders don’t usually have shiny sidesteps in their highlight reel, but this year’s league moment gave the Cavan stalwart the new nickname of Killian ‘Twinkleto’ Brady.

A man of law is a strong supporter of discipline. His astronomical yellow card total must match the amount of penalty points he has to pay!



Sligo goalkeeper Aidan Devane congratulates after saving two penalties in a victory over Leitrim in the Teltin Cup quarterfinal penalty shootout. Photo by Ray Ryan / Sportsfile


a football county. A population far more interested in the results of show grounds than in Markiewicz Park. Division 4 is their level because there is no passion for the game. They should be happy to enjoy the protection from hammers offered by second-tier competition. The notion of competing in Connacht has not been required to obtain, despite the recent two underage provincial titles.


Soccer, rugby, hurling and basketball are sports that have good participation in Sligo. This is great Multi-sport early childhood should be on offer for every child in Ireland, with the opportunity to specialize and compete on a national level from a local base afterwards. A passion for Gaelic football exists, with the rural east, west and south of the county having small populations but strong rivalry.

Most of the clubs in the north have a low number of blasts. The success of the school is gradually starting to add up to the provincial success of a young age, but it needs to be pursued. Adult club structures need to facilitate an increase in participation levels. A greater amount of talent from a young age required the performance of the Sigerson Cup.

Sean Carabin, Niall Murphy and Paddy O’Connor are the players who will make a big impact at the higher level. Tony McEntee needs to put his side across the divisions and show the country that the large population doesn’t need to be too competitive.


A big man with a big personality. Sligo has already saved three penalties on his way to the semi-finals, perhaps inspired by days wasted watching his beloved Newcastle United see a penalty. Those who spend five minutes in his company will be shocked to learn that a person so clearly lacking common sense is a practicing actuary. What is even more shocking is how this city dweller took his farming to the general public on social media during the lockdown. Aidan ‘Big Red’ Devane.



Westmeath’s Ronan O’Toole clashes with Louth’s Niall Sharkey. Image: Aidan Dullaghan/News


Which division are they in now? GAA’s perennial yo-yo team. Division 3 in 2011, Division 1 in 2014, Division 4 in 2017. And despite all this mayhem, Leinster reached the finals in 2015 and 2016. It can be claimed that their championship performances over the past decade have made them Leinster’s second-best team.

A Midlands county capable of doing anything from mediocrity to Division 1 survival. My own personal perception of him is largely shaped by the 2015 June Bank Holiday Pre-Championship challenge, where his lack of interest for the time of year was surprising. One of his players claimed that he had come to know about the game only that morning. Talented but semi-invested in maintaining high standards, hence the inconsistency.


Similar to Sligo, a county that receives a fair spread of sporting interests. Cross-Channel soccer clubs or provincial rugby teams are no strangers to exporting some of their most talented. While they can buy all of their best players from the start of a season, they are one of the teams that can knock on the doors of Division 1. Anything less in The Division 4 and a year may be needed to bring them back to reality. ,

Jack Cooney is an influential manager who has enjoyed his own success in addition to the spell assisting Rory Gallagher at Donegal. Connie has done a good job of what could be called a transition period as some veterans move past their best and a youth group, with no notable little success, is slowly integrated.

Hot and cold spells in Teltane Cup games, but their extra scoring power has seen them rack up enough in hot periods so that cold spells do not render terminal. James Dolan and Sam McCartan are dangerous from the middle third, Luke Loughlin’s pace is dangerous when he is in the mood. Ronan O’Toole and John Heslin will score.


A deadly forward with a social contribution to the group, which is inversely related to his short stature. Skips the modern trend for pre-training dynamism and activation work by focusing its efforts on the ‘Crossbar Challenge’. Ronan O’Toole spent his week with JP Morgan as a senior analyst.



Offley’s Jordan Hayes takes action against Malachi Stone, left, and Wicklow’s Padraig O’Toole. Photo by Harry Murphy / Sportsfile


A proud football history was seen by Samus Darby to end Carey’s 1982 drive for five. A history maintained for decades by teams able to take the wind off the sails of Leinster’s more illustrious trio of Dublin, Meath and Kildare. John Maughan brings a level of no-nonsense preparation and commitment that has lifted the current crop from their woes. This fundamental increase in standards propelled them from Division 4 to 2. A U-20 All-Ireland in 2021 should see him compete at Leinster.


Offali fell off the football radar due to a lack of focus on developing its players from an early age to the senior inter-county level. The development of the impressive O’Connor Park diluted the finances and resources available for the development of the game. As president, Michael Duignan has created unity of purpose.

This can be seen in the number of on-ground coaches, new corporate partnerships and Shane Lowry’s involvement in creating an exciting future for aspiring off-field footballers. An under-20 All-Ireland would not bring them back to a level to win the senior Leinsters.

He needs to add some more underage Leinster titles in the long run. Form hit some hurdles since mid-March culminating in relegation from Division 2. If they don’t perform this weekend, the obvious question will be whether the popular and influential Tomas is time to move from A to Se, despite the moves made under Maughan. A selector’s role for Banistoire for 2023.


As the game of football has evolved, so have the methods of meeting future spouses. The key to this is the vanity of posting some flattering pictures online.

An offbeat midfielder has no problem here as his relentless ‘beach wait’ schedule has honed a physique that would make a Greek god beat with envy.

Commitment to a cause, as you would expect from someone who defends our country through his Irish military work, is not an issue for Jordan Hayes.