Imagine the scene if you will. It’s full-time and Dublin have just beaten Meath in Leinster in front of a capacity crowd at Croker. A beaming Colm Coyle, in his blue Bainisteoir outfit, is accepting all manner of congratulations from the similarly blue-clad hordes for masterminding the defeat of the Dubs' arch rivals as thousands of his own county men stream out of the stadium dejectedly muttering to themselves. Or how about this? Jack O’Connor accepting similar plaudits having guided Cork to victory in the Munster championship over the county that is so often their nemesis, his native Kerry.
Of course you can’t imagine it, because it wouldn’t ever happen. But it does in Connacht and we’re the ones to feel the brunt of such managerial inter-marriage. There was an interesting article in the Sunday Tribune last weekend about the three main buck cats in football management in Connacht, all of them Mayomen. While they have all (and one of them is doing so again) put their shoulder to the wheel in the cause of advancing Mayo’s championship hopes, all three of them have also devoted considerable time and effort in doing the same job for our near neighbours.
I have to say that I’m with the Spailpín on this one – all those ambitious Mayomen who fancy a crack at management beyond the county boundaries should key into their satnavs a few destinations that are a bit further than down the road that those poor, benighted counties immediately adjacent to us. At least John Maughan had the good grace to try his luck (with spectacular results, as it happened) in Clare and then later in Fermanagh before eventually, after a second stint with us, breaking bread with the Sheepstealers. Peter Ford, or indeed Johnno himself, have no such excuses for engaging in an exercise commonly known as, ahem, shitting on one’s own doorstep.