No fuss, little bother as Lilies return to the training ground

THE final whistle sounded.

THE final whistle sounded.

The sizeable support took to their feet.



Kildare had just defeated Tyrone in the Allianz Football League Division 2 decider.

Standing high up in the Hogan Stand press area one could not but be struck by the lack of euphoria down on the famous sod.

Yes, players hugged and back slapped one another.

But in a very measured way.

It was very noticeable and, in one way, a very welcoming sight as it is a measure of just how focused this team has become.

The league win was more than welcome of course but these boys have an agenda.

And while gaining promotion was part of that agenda, in the overall picture of things, that’s all it was, a small ingredient along the way, a small piece of the bigger jig-saw.

The league, as McGeeney sees it, is simply a means to an end.

And while no one knows where that ‘end’ will lead nevertheless by their after-match reaction, or lack of same, it surely is a measure of just how much these lads have bought into the McGeeney mindset.

A mindset that has just one aim.

A mindset that has just one item on the page.

A mindset that will, hopefully, succeed.

Sooner rather than later.

But for now normal services have resumed.

Players have returned to their tough schedule and were back on the training pitch in Hawkfield on Tuesday night last.

It is still six weeks to the quarter final of the Leinster Championship and a date with the Faithful County.

And don’t expect too many games on the ‘rubber chicken challenge circuit’ between then and now.

We have been through all that before but with the strong panel built up and the undoubted competition for places, anyone looking at games on the training ground will testify to the intensity and no-holes-barred attitude that is surely more beneficial than any of those pre-championship challenge friendlies.

In between of course their is the not so insignificant opening round of club championship games at senior, intermediate and junior level.

But looking back on the Tyrone game there were a few happenings that occurred that seemed, for some reason or other, to escape the headlines.

I’m sure there are many folk out there who recall the great Maurice Fitzgerald and that marvellous point he scored for Kerry against Dublin in Thurles in the All Ireland quarter final of 2001.

A superb effort that I witnessed in the flesh.

And let’s not forget when the mighty ‘Nuxer’ Buckley did the same, only on the double, in Croker against the Dubs in ‘98.

Was Johnny Doyle’s effort from under the Cusack Stand against Tyrone not equally as brilliant?

Apart from the fact that he was not attired in the green and gold of Kerry (or the all white of Kildare as far as that goes) surely that effort from Doyle, one of the game’s great servants, deserves a little more recognition?

And while we are at it, the display of 20-year-old Podge Fogarty, coming in scoring three points, hitting the post with another and then being fouled for a fourth was real ‘Roy of the Rovers’ stuff, but again seemingly not sufficient in some people’s eyes for major comment.

Maybe some of our Sunday Game ‘friends’ would be better off concentrating on the game in hand rather than trying to compete with ‘Grumpy Dunphy’ as controversial TV figureens!

Hopefully before this year is out the exploits of the boys from Lilywhite Land on the field of play will be such that ignoring them will not be an option.

Now, wouldn’t that be sweet!