Are our youngsters coached right? Should they play less competitive football? Or more? Is the cross-channel route to the top of the game viable any longer? And can the League of Ireland provide a feasible alternative? In the second part of his look at our supply line of footballers, canvasses more opinion from around the Irish game.
I have to say that Twitter comes into its own on sad occasions such as the passing of the great Ray Treacy and I’m sure it must come as some considerable consolation to his nearest and dearest to see the outpouring of affection and admiration on the internet which has shown no sign of drying up since the shocking news of his death emerged.
It hardly carried the glamour or gravitas of an induction into Cooperstown or Springfield, it wasn’t like there was a Larry Bird to welcome his Magic Johnson into this particular Hall of Fame, but there was something particularly pleasing about seeing Ronnie Whelan being honoured at the FAI International Awards on Sunday.
Now most of the Irish sports media, and top commentators such as Eamon Dunphy and, to some extent, Johnny Giles, can gloat over the departure of Ireland soccer manager Giovanni Trapattoni, a very costly national football coach for the last five years, following pressure from all sides, primarily from the fans.
As a retired public servant, I find it troubling that RTÉ, who in these difficult times cover such topics as unemployment and emigration in their programming, yet have no difficulty in retaining the same broadcasters for decades — some are now in their 70s and predominantly male.