|A football, earlier this afternoon.|
Pablo Fitzsimons, the manager of Birrcelona FC, in the Tullamore and Surrounding Parishes Football League, has made the outlandish claim that Ireland would be just as good as the world’s football greats, such as Brazil, Germany and Switzerland, if only they were any good. Fitzsimons, one of Offaly’s longest-serving sports coaches (only Dessie Lopez, trainer of Tullamore’s senior camogie side since 1942, has been involved in local sports longer), said that things had changed since Ireland’s glory days of the early to mid 1990s, and that other teams had since stolen not only our thunder, but also our sunshine on a rainy day, our clouds with silver linings, our greased lightning, the wind beneath our wings and our foggy dew.
Speaking with The Heraldy Press about fifteen minutes ago, Fitzsimons, who is of part Bolivian, part Roscommon heritage, hence the bizarre name, said; ‘Back in the forties and fifties, you’d have had Irish lads like young Mick McCarthy, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton kicking a ball around the streets of Barnsley, Liverpool and Glasgow, hoping that one day they’d grow up and play for the Republic of Ireland. Nowadays, sure there’s that many immigrants in the county, you don’t know who’ll be playing for who. Sure only yesterday, I met a lad from Fermanagh, and a family from West Cork right here on my doorstep, I think they were delivering milk. I can’t remember the last time I heard a Tullamore accent in the town, they’re nearly all from Edenderry or even Mullingar these days’. When asked to get back to the point, Pablo told us to feck off, and said; ‘Sure it’s none of your business what does be going through me head’. Even though it was he who called us with the story in the first place.
Ireland, not having qualified for the World Cup in ages, has hardly ever won it, unlike other countries, who, between them, have won every single World Cup ever held. With the right management, players, finances, supporters, stadia, history, sponsorships and a nice shiny team bus however, Fitzsimons reckons Ireland could win the World Cup every year, and would be honorary winners for being so brilliant in the years that it wasn’t held. Said Pablo; ‘I’ve since gotten together a petition, in order to have Ireland host the event some year, and of the nine people who’ve signed it so far, four of them weren’t me. People laugh, but sure we’re a nation of fields, where football is played, and people live here too, and as far as I’m aware, it’s people that do be playing football. They do other things too of course, but football is one of them. I did contact FIFA, UEFA and the Westmeath Amateur Football Association, and have since met Tommy Gormley, the General Secretary of the latter, but he told me to feck off and quit being such a gobshite’. Words by Bosco Coppell, Picture provided on loan by Marian’s Buttermilk Ltd.