The clock is ticking on the championship and our opening game with Cavan. It is just three weeks away from Sunday and it should not go without notice that Cavan have a new manager.
Terry Hyland was involved with Val Andrews, the former manager, the year before last and has been manager of the U-21s for the last two years.
With the appointment I would urge a little bit of caution. I feel Hyland will make a difference. And while it is reasonable to still believable that we are more than capable of beating Cavan, I expect to face a different Cavan, now that Hyland is in the hot seat.
Expect them to be a lot more physical and in our faces under the new man than they would have if Val Andrews was still in charge. I think this is something that we should be prepared for and the sooner we get into that way of thinking the better. I would caution that we watch our discipline and not to get drawn into any confrontation with them.
The fact that it looks like Michael Murphy is more than likely going to miss the game should sharpen our focus and rid us of any sense of over confidence.
Now that we know he is unlikely to be fit for the game we should prepare accordingly and after all I feel we are far from a one man team. Colm McFadden showed great leadership against Armagh; he is more than capable of leading the line and you also have Patrick McBrearty and the Brick Molloy, though in the case of the Brick he is suffering a dip in form of late.
But overall I feel we have the forward line, even without Michael, to see off Cavan, though as I stated they will be more physical and it will be real battle.
It is good to see the All County Football Leagues up and running and it is great to have four to five rounds played.
However, I would caution playing double fixtures and I must say I’m delighted to hear as we write that the CCC are having a re-think about playing a double round of games again this weekend.
I think it is a bit too much, both for county players and, for that matter, club players to play two rounds of games in the space of three days. After all they are only amateur players.
On the recent decision of Congress to change the square ball rule, I must say I have my reservations about the change and I still think it will lead to confusion and problems down the road.
Personally, I would be more inclined to go the whole hog and get rid of it altogether. But now that the change has been made we have to accept it and see how it works.
As I said earlier the championship is upon us again and I have no doubt the standard of football will come under scrutiny once again. As readers will be only too aware one of my hobby horses is the amount of hand passing in our games and lack of foot passing.
I know we are not behind the door when it comes to the use of the hand pass and I could be accused myself of over indulging in it in the past.
But that said I still don’t like it and one team I’m really gone off is Cork. They use it a lot in their games and to be honest it puts me off watching them and my big fear is if we do not do something about it we will turn people from going to games.
Finally, I want to mention the Belle of the Ball run by Bundoran GAA club on Friday night. It was a great success and the club did well financially out of it. It was an idea that maybe other clubs could take on. It certainly was worth the effort from a financial point of view but it was also a hugely successful social function.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.