Now, I’d never be one to highlight specific cases but in this case I think it is necessary to so we can really understand the problem and try and figure out whether man’s mental strength can overcome the whining and allow him continue to have some independence.
Example A – Philip Roche
The man would be twiddling his thumbs working for Kingspan if I hadn’t spotted something in the Southsiders character that might make him a success at Toyota. Having passed him through to a final interview (the hint of a GAA background swung it) he didn’t let me down. Early on in his Belgium life I spent a car journey in his and Barry Cahill's company. We discussed many things and having a long distance relationship was one. I showed the two young bucks a sensitive side that would have taken the legs from under them had they been standing up. I tried to help Rochey with some sound advice but ultimately Rochey has to help himself.
At the time I had not met his girlfriend so maybe it wasn’t fair to offer advice. In the meantime we did met and I could confirm she was indeed a very nice person. Rochey did well to ignore my advice but in doing so surrendered the trousers. The outcome of this is that he will spend this weekend 30mins from Den Hague with his girlfriend, while his teammates battle Benelux’s finest. As Eddie Kirwan used to tell me; ‘Dave, life is all about choices’, Rochey has made his.
Lads 0 Girls 5
Example B – Stephen Cluxton
Our diminutive Dublin goalkeeper seals massive business deals by day and sniffs out attacks by night. He appeared on the scene last year and we quickly learned of his engagement to Emily. We all lived through his wedding preparations moment by moment. From telling offs in Budapest to stern warnings about facial disturbance in Rennes, two weeks prior to his wedding, we were with him all the way.
He made valiant attempts to encourage his better half (in every sense) to join up with the ladies footballers but she only showed fleeting interest. However, with wedding put to bed, Clux sealed his biggest deal yet but fully recruiting his new wife. She slotted into the forward line like she was always there and is proving a great find for the girls. No more to say here.
Lads 1 Girls 0
Example C – Alan Rowan
With wife Caragh, they form one of the most sociable husband and wife combo in town. Both were there when we started our adventure last year and despite one major since they remain with us. Darragh arrived a month ago which has brought the need to give greater attention to managing their sporting schedule.
While Caragh made her comeback tonight, Alan was seen doing laps with the buggy. Both will tog out at the weekend and Alan’s parent will be in the travelling party as minders for the little man. Well managed Mr. Rowan, this is a well earned draw.
Lads 1 Girls 1
Example D – Emmett Devine
Lisa Byrne. Not to be messed with. Yes mam, no mam, how high do you want me to jump mam? She reminds me of Mrs O’Brien, my second class teacher. She put the fear of god in me. I nearly stand to attention when the lovely Lisa is in sight.
Emmett, a fiery character at the best of times, turns to putty in her presence. Yet, remarkably it works. He will travel this weekend, keeping his phone in hand as he awaits the arrival of a new Devine. He goes with the full blessing of his new wife. He has a bigger challenge waiting in the coming months. He knows what it is. I’ll show my faith and put my money on the table. A big win for Devine in the first leg, hopefully he doesn’t slip in the second.
Lads 3 Girls 0
Example E – Ruairi Duffy
Our new man from Mayo, via Poland where his wife is currently commuting from. Despite strong encouragement to bring the curtain down on his sporting career he has so far resisted. The result is little sympathy for his current aching ribs. Still, he will be welcome of the passenger on Saturday and by keeping her onside so for he sneaks a victory.
Lads 1 Girls 0
Example F – Colin Byrne
Arrived in September, starting a long distance relationship with his girlfriend. They have since become engaged and he continues to manage the situation well. He managed Dubai by leveraging the trip to Malaga. The rearranged fixture in Amsterdam didn’t upset his plans as his accommodating fiancé spent the day in Brussels with friends. Everything is rosy in the garden for now. A solid 1 0.
Lads 1 Girls 0
Already in the good books because even after moving from Brussels to the Hague, he has not changed his allegiance. This weekend he faced a major issue as Italian girlfriend Jules was over from London for the weekend. Given the undoubted demands placed on him by her for his time this weekend, her day long presence at the tournament was more than impressive. Given this we tolerated the outrageous number of displays of public affection. She even joined for the evening partae and turned out to be great craic. All credit to the I-talians.
Lads 3 Girls 0
Aggregate Score - Lads 10 Girls 6
In conclusion, man must stand up and fight and if they do with vigour, the battle can be won. If their effort is sheepish and they easily roll over, they are doomed for failure. Sometimes it takes compromise, other times a carrot but everytime there is a way for a willing buck.