- By Fr. Priontious McGiollaEaspog, Religious Affairs and Foxy Boxing correspondent
When I first started in this job (and it’s longer than I want to mention), I was lucky enough to work with Michael Duffy. It was an education and a privilege to have met him, and one thing he said has always stayed in my mind: ‘if you ever want to really know what goes on somewhere, stand around like you know nothing‘.
It was this advice, and the chance of a rare interview with the enigmatic Roy Keane, than brought me to Finn Harps training ground on a wet November evening.
I arrived at half six to watch a 7pm session, and hadn’t been there five minutes before I saw the physio Kevin Finan. He had just travelled back from international duty in Georgia, and was throwing down sand around the goals. That’s the way with Roy Keane; if something needs doing you just do it, or go home.
I asked him about his reputation for discipline later. We were in the living room of his six story mansion in the company of two Alsatians, one of whom had just pissed on my leg. Roy seemed amused at that, and judging by the smell of the carpet it was not unusual. I wasn’t sure how he was going to react to the question, but he just smiled and threw an empty peeled orange tin onto the floor.
‘What’s wrong with that can?‘, he asked.
The mood changed quickly when I didn’t reply.
‘It’s fucking lack Luster is what it is, and I don’t tolerate anything lack luster at the club -everything needs to be shiny, clean and working.’
‘And full to the brim with sugar water and peeled oranges?’, I offered. He didn’t reply, so I changed the subject to the Third Prophecy. Roy seemed to immediately relax, it was clearly a subject that he was happier to talk about.
‘Hybobolus?, load of fucking shite.‘
He took out a small chalkboard and drew a series of grids.
‘Superluminal travel, in theory, created a set of extra dimensions beyond the three that we experience daily. These extra dimensions connect distant points in real space. The problem with The Third Prophecy is that the basic premise has it that everything in the universe is made up of strings’.
He paused to kick one of the dogs in the nuts and smiled
‘These strings are either wrapped in a loop or exist in a straight line.’
He gestured out the window, as if there was something in the immediate vicinity that explained what he was saying. If there was, I didn’t see it, but remembering Mick Duffy’s advice I said nothing. Roy fixed me with a stare, and sighed -it was clear he was frustrated by my lack of comprehension.
‘Strings like that don’t exist at human sized scale‘, he barked.
That marked the end of the interview. If there is a secret to his training methods, it is closer to an empty tin of fruit than Hybobolus’s prophecies. Unfortunately, it will take a better reporter than me to find out exactly how close.