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Some of Sundays Press Clippings...

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    Good work! But you've missed the Cooder interview in the Guardian/Observer and Eddie Butler's article! [img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Here und hier
    New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.



      The Cooder interview made me nearly choke on me brekkie. Full article below, enjoy it! The highlighted paragraph (in red) still has me chuckling ..

      The Ireland coach was a 9½-stone weakling as a player, but is now a force to be reckoned with as his team are favourites to win the Six Nations, which starts on Saturday

      Eddie Butler
      Sunday January 28, 2007
      The Observer

      <DIV id=GuardianArticle>There's a lot more to Eddie O'Sullivan than meets the height chart. He'll never look down on any of the second-rows in the Ireland squad, or even on the shortest player in the team, Peter Stringer, but they all might still be wary of arm wrestling their 48-year-old coach.

      When he began to study physical education, maths and science at Thomond College in Limerick, he was a 9½-stone outside-half, up from Youghal in County Cork from a family of electricians. Four years later he was a 13-stone wing for Garryowen, Munster and, once, for Ireland B. O'Sullivan pumped the weights and still has the biceps to prove it.

      <DIV =MPU_display_ id=spacedesc_mpu_div></IMG>There is a connection between the body then and the brain that now has to make Ireland feel comfortable with the notion that they are favourites to win the Six Nations. (The position as front-runner is not entirely new, but being at ease with it certainly is.) Back in 1990, five years, that is, before the game went professional, O'Sullivan wrote a book, Fitness for Rugby - a Basic Guide </DIV>

      It caught the eye of Ciaran Fitzgerald, then the Ireland coach, and he invited O'Sullivan to do the fitness work with the national team. The connection with the national set-up had begun. 'I learnt so much then,' says O'Sullivan as we meet on the eve of the launch of the RBS Six Nations. 'I took it upon myself to gain a grounding in forward coaching. I was a back but I decided I had to know what was going on between one and eight. You can't divorce yourself from over half your team.

      'So I shadowed Ciaran wherever he went with the pack. We have a forwards coach, Niall Donovan, now. He does the job very much his way. But I like to be able to talk to him about what we are doing.'

      You couldn't say O'Sullivan is an animated talker. At least, not in the public arena. It is said he had some rare old ding-dong one-on-one exchanges with Keith Wood, when the hooker was his captain, but in public he is deliberate. Thoughtful, certainly. Obviously thorough. But he's not your honey-tongued charmer. There's too much steel in him to permit modulation. The book, the drive, the four stones gained - these were the early manifestations of a man on a mission. 'Ambition is not a dirty word,' he reminds me later.

      He had begun to coach at the age of 23. Again, something out of the norm. Encouraged by Peter 'PJ' Smyth, his coach at Garryowen and his lecturer in sports psychology at Thomond, he began to coach at Monivea, a junior club in Galway.

      So, he was playing for Garryowen in Limerick, teaching and coaching - including the Connacht schoolboys' basketball team - at Holy Rosary College, County Galway, and coaching Monivea.

      If that sounds busy, it was nothing compared with the years to come, when he combined teaching with coaching at Blackrock in Dublin, plus a spell as a development officer for the Irish Rugby Football Union, plus coaching Connacht and Ireland at under-21 level. Plus a stint as assistant to George Hook, the Irishman who was then head coach of the US Eagles.

      The American connection is all-important. 'I base my style on the NFL,' he says. The attention to detail, to never being too organised, appealed to him. He has a lot of time for Sir Clive Woodward, even after acting as one of his coach
      Please support Milford Hospice. Click here to donate.



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        Well done,flycaster.Very good post. It saves a lot of hassle. I will be looking out for it next Sunday!


          <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=305><T>
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          <TD vAlign=top>
          <H1>Break point</H1>@@@@SPAN ="byline">Peter O’Reilly@@@@/SPAN>

          <H3>Brian O’Driscoll struggles with the media spotlight yet his play still demands attention</H3></TD></TR></T></T></TABLE></TD></TR>
          <TD height=5></TD></TR>
          <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=305><T>
          <TD vAlign=top>
          <DIV ="textcopy">The initial signs are not that promising. Brian O’Driscoll skips the formalities in the hotel foyer, merely leads the way up the stairs to a room that is free. As he sits down, there is a casual yet still obvious glance at his watch, as if to click a button. Time on.

          Such urgency is only what you would expect from someone who gave four hours of his time to the media the previous day. The official Six Nations launch at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham was a feeding frenzy conducted with extreme precision — newspapers, cameras, radio, television. By early evening he was back in Dublin, but the media had not finished with him yet.

          <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0 VALIGN="TOP"><T>
          <TD id=mpuer name="mpuer"></TD></TR>
          <TR align=right>
          <TD align=right></TD></TR></T></T></TABLE>He first spotted the photographer on O’Connell Street, as he drove to collect his new girlfriend, the actress Amy Huberman, who had been out at a film premiere that night. The Irish tabloids are titillated by Brian and Amy, so this was an obvious patch for Dublin’s paparazzi. But this snapper had a licence to roam. It was a few hours and several miles later before they saw the last of him. O’Driscoll hesitates before speaking of the experience because he’s still annoyed, feels violated.

          “It’s one thing that people don’t see which is almost scary,” he says. “Last night, I got followed around Dublin by a snapper. We drove to the other side of the city and he followed us in his car and got out and he started more snaps of us. That is very hard to deal with. I mean, you’re going out to have some food.

          “It still gives me a huge fright and invariably the people that you’re with, it gives them a bigger fright, when the first thing you see is a flash going off in front of you. At least I’ve seen it before. And I know who this guy is. I’ve seen him and I’ve posed for photos for him before at certain events and things. But there’s no rapport with some guys, to be honest. There’s give and take but with some people, there’s just take.”

          RUGBY may only be Ireland’s fourth-most popular sport, but since Roy Keane’s retirement from playing, Brian O’Driscoll is undeniably the most recognisable sporting face in the country. It’s not merely because the Irish football team is in the doldrums while his rugby team are favourites to win a Six Nations championship that starts next weekend. It’s because he’s the best in the world at what he does and he’s not afraid to cash in on that fact.

          In this, he is very much of his time, emblematic of Ireland in the early 21st century: successful, self-assured, forward-thinking. His face is everywhere and yet the image that best illustrates his impact was a written one, which appeared a few days after O’Driscoll’s now-famous “pass to himself” against Ulster at Lansdowne Road on New Year’s Eve.

          In his column in the Irish Independent, Tony Ward described how, on the first schoolday after the Christmas holidays, he had seen countless clusters of boys out on a pitch as the light faded, all trying to re-enact the same trick. It was surely going on all over the country.

          Yet while he’s the most recognisable face, he’s somehow not the most popular face. Lions captain, two triple crowns, more international tries than any other Irishmen, many of them works of real genius. He should be a national treasure