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Cultured Griffin has praise for his peers

PAUL GRIFFIN is often described as the Rolls Royce of defenders. He brings a certain amount of panache to his performance.

He always seems to have that extra yard of space, and his distribution is spot-on.

He was chatting to 98fm's Stephen Doyle on 'Now, That's What I Call Sport' (Sundays, 9am).

He recalled fondly his early days at Kilmacud Crokes and the excitement of following the team on their Leinster and All-Ireland adventures under Tommy Lyons.

He especially remembers returning to Stillorgan after matches and tucking into the sausages and chips with all his pals.

Paul admired Robbie Leahy. "Like me, he was a defender, and he was always able to get out in front of his man." He also hailed the contributions of Mick Dillon and Mick Leahy.

In time, Paul would play on a Crokes All-Ireland winning team himself as Paddy Carr's Invincibles claimed gold in 2009.

"There were some close calls along the way. We dug ourselves into some holes, but we always had the belief to get us through."

RESPECTED Dublin referee, Jim Turner, gives the black card to football's tinkermen.

He argues that the black card is a non-runner from the start, but he wonders why none of Eugene McGee's crew didn't consider awarding two points for a free.

"I remember refereeing in the Evening Herald/St James's Gaels Floodlit Cup up at the Iveagh Grounds. We had two points for a free then," recalls Jim.

"It worked very well. When it came out first, the forwards were surprised at the amount of space they had. Defenders were afraid to go near them!

"And many a match was decided by a late two-pointer free. I'd love to see us try it out again."

EXPERIENCED hurling mentor seeks new challenge. Many years managing teams in Dublin and beyond. Achieved notable success and is a first-class man manager. Contact 085-1228164.

SHANE FAGAN is the new PRO at Erin Go Bragh. He takes over from Keith Edgely, who did a smashing job for six years.

email: niallscullyfootball@eircom.net