In his latest diary piece for the Mayo News, Ireland utility back Gavin Duffy gave an entertaining insight into the inner workings of Ireland’s World Cup player committees.
“The various player committees were formed last week in preparation for the next month (and hopefully longer) staying in hotels together. It’s a routine for away trips but with such a long period on the road, it took on added importance,” explained Duffy, the only Connacht representative in the Irish World Cup squad.
“There are numerous groups formed with varying degrees of importance. There is one for the laundry, one for clothing and, of course, the all-important ‘fines board’.
“We even have a ‘library committee’ to manage the extensive collection of books and DVDs we’ve put together. All the lads were required to contribute one book and one DVD to the collection.
“I was elected onto the ‘entertainment committee’ with Isaac Boss and Andrew Trimble. The entertainment committee plays an important role for the squad. We’ll have to organise excursions for the team, including trips to the cinema, local landmarks, etc.
“I just missed out on the ‘area information committee’ having performed poorly on it for the trip to Argentina. I reckon I was effectively sacked!”
Duffy’s performances on the pitch in Argentina were altogether more convincing and the Mayo man has bedded effortlessly back into the Ireland set-up this year, having been in and out of the squad since 2004.
The Irish players had last weekend off and it hit home for Duffy just how much of a big deal the World Cup will be.
“It’s only when you get back home at the weekend and meet friends and family that you realise the magnitude of the event and how great it is to be involved. When you’re in camp you are focused on training and the various other team activities,” he added.
“The Limerick lads got back to camp on Sunday a little earlier than the rest of us as you would imagine. They had secured tickets for the All-Ireland hurling final and the other lads gave them plenty of grief about it.
“I mean, they were never going to get away with taking tickets from the hardcore Limerick fans who had gone to every game, and then sitting in the corporate box! That said, after their defeat it was easy for me to empathise with them having been in a similar position as a Mayo fan on far too many occasions.”
One man who certainly knows his hurling is prop Marcus Horan, who hails from the hurling stronghold of Clonlara in County Clare, and it appears he is also a dab hand at PowerPoint presentations.
“Marcus has been given the role of communications manager for the World Cup. It will be his job to gather information on how to access the internet where we are, to inform us on phone charges in the area and keep us up to date on all the electrical gadgets available,” Duffy said.
“It will be no problem to him as he enjoys putting together PowerPoint presentations on such things and he will have it all mapped out for us as soon as we settle in.”