Last Man Standing
Hurling goalkeepers
Christy O’Connor
O’Brien Press

They say you must be mad to want to be a goalkeeper and while this book humanises the people involved their madness shines right throughout the 300 pages.

This is an insight into the mind of inter county goalkeepers during the 2004 all ireland championship. At the start of the season many cling to an aspiration of being champions. For some it is an opportunity to okay in Croke park, make a save and make a difference. For others it is the end goal Of being an all ireland winner. For that to happen dedication, luck and hard work comes to the fore.

We are taken on a journey over the season with goalkeepers being interviewed and talking openly of their preparation. It’s a fascinating insight into the quirks, mannerisms, training and superstition of these men who stand between a sliotar travelling at 100 miles an hour and the goal. Men who will put their body in front of that weapon, all in the name of attaining victory.

Terence Mc swiney is quoted here. Ironic that this is the centenary of his death and his words are still remembered. “It is not those who are willing to inflict the most, but those who can endure the most, who will eventually triumph”. The hunger striker wasn’t necessarily talking about sporting triumph but Donal og cusack carries those words with him wherever he goes. The hunger for victory carries throughout. Yeah you need to be a bit mad to be a goalkeeper but to be a successful one requires fierce hunger. And that rings gloriously through these pages.

niallhope

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