ALAN Dillon, (36 this year) announced last week that he was retiring from inter-county football.
I had, when working with Mickey Moran, the pleasure of coaching Alan, or ‘Dillo’ as he was affectionately known, in 2006 when Mayo went all the way to an All-Ireland final via that memorable semi-final clash with Dublin.
Alan was in exceptional form that year and gained an All-Star for his performances. I regard him as one of the true greats of Mayo football even though he was playing alongside the likes of Ciaran McDonald, David Clarke, Keith Higgins, Conor Mortimer, David Brady and his close friend Andy Moran, who may also retire this season. He was a great motivator and had boundless energy; his kick passing was always ‘advantageous’ for his receiving team-mate.
He was a very clever reader of the game and was rarely caught in possession, being a master at finding space.
He always produced a significant amount of scores in every game he played.
It was a huge honour and pleasure to work with Alan and I wish him well in all he does in the future.
- Up until early last season, Shea Heffron was a solid member of the Armagh County team.
His commitment to completing his university studies meant he exited the Armagh panel and the absence of a potentially quality defender was a significant loss to Armagh.
Shea is still committed to his university studies and this season he’ll play for Queen’s Sigerson Cup team, as well as playing for Queen’s in the Dr McKenna Cup.
In that Dr McKenna, his playing pedigree will be tested in having to play against Monaghan, Donegal and Fermanagh.
Shea is also helping out with coaching under former county manager, Aidan O’Rourke, director of GAA and Sigerson Cup manager at Queen’s and in doing so his football ability will improve.
By his playing and coaching with Queen’s, together with the tutelage of Aidan O’Rourke, Shea, in time, will come back to Armagh having been prepared as well as, if not better, than any county player.
The Clann Eireann player, Shea was one of their better competitors in his club’s 2017 Championship run. Aidan Rushe, captain of Crossmaglen’s recent U-21 Armagh Championship winning team, is also in his final year of university studies and also will not be available to Armagh this season.
- The eagerly awaited St Paul’s, Belfast Ulster Minor Club Championship quarter final tie between Armagh champions, Clann Eireann and Donegal champions, St Eunan’s, Letterkenny was called ‘off’ on Saturday due to the inclement weather.
The re-scheduling of the game is to be made early this week.
St Eunan’s had already a game in the tournament 10 days ago when they defeated reigning champions, Burren in the preliminary round, on a 1-7 to 0-7 scoreline with the goal coming from a penalty kick.