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37 Sport Big Aussies in Devere Hall

Sports Editor Mike McCarthy meets with representa- tives of the Australian International rules manage- ment, and talks about the competitive series.

I had the distinct pleasure to join

representatives of the Australian International Rules team at a wine and cheese reception in Áras na Mac Léinn. The hall was full of dignitaries from the college includ- ing the President Dr Michael Mur- phy, representatives from the Union and members of the Clubs Executive. I got talking to Kevin Sheehan,

National Talent Manager of the AFL(Australian Football League) and he gave me some information of some of the key figures at this reception. Firstly he pointed out

Head Coach Michael Malthouse. Interestingly he said Malthouse had a direct link to Cork GAA. Malthouse led Collingwood to their first AFL Grand Final win since 1990 just as his distant cousin Graham Canty, captain of the Cork Senior football team lead the Rebel County to their first All-Ireland since 1990. This man seemed full of knowl-

edge of the history of the Interna- tional Rules Series saying that in the thirty two times it has been played there is only three points in the total points scored since 1984

between them. This is a staggering statistic showing how close these games have been throughout the years. Ireland is leading sixteen wins to fourteen against their Southern Hemisphere rivals. Mr Sheehan also spoke about

assistant to the tour Glen Jack- ovich. The West Coast Eagles Champion was a goal keeper on the 2003 series for the Aussies. He now commentates for Fox Sports on AFL games. Jackovich retired immediately after the 2003 series but was involved in the managerial team in the 2008 loss for the team from down under. Jackovich him- self told me that they had worked a lot on their defensive play as they felt they had conceded too many

unders in the previous meeting. He said that they had recruited Dustin Fletcher nicknamed ‘Inspector Gadget’ for his goalkeeping skills. Jackovich went on to say he was

expecting the game against the combined UCC/CIT students to be a fast and frantic affair. He hoped the high tempo would allow the majority of the squad who were cutting their teeth in this unique sport. Jackovich said they chose players with good pace, good hands and good decision making ability as he felt these were the at- tributes that made GAA players such great adversaries. After my chat with Jackovich I

then spoke to Head Coach Malt- house. He said he was looking “forward to a very good perform- ance” from his team. He was sure that the combined colleges’ team would offer a “nice tough opener”.

October 26th 2010

I also spoke to the UCC President Dr Michael Murphy who said he was delighted to have these “role- models” in the college. I was given some great tips from

Kevin Sheehan. He told me to keep an eye on Dane Swan the Colling- wood star. He has been awarded multiple MVP awards in this sea- sons AFL season. He is distinc- tively known for his sleeve. He also let me know that Tommy Walsh, ex-Kerry footballer is doing well in Australia. To cap off a great night I was in-

formed that the recently retired GAA star Séan Óg Ó Hailpín would be playing for the UCC/CIT selection. His experience and phys- icality was surely going to boost the college’s performance against these professional athletes.

The skull and crossbones take to two wheels

Nevin Power of the UCC Motorcycle Club is passion- ate about his club, and thinks you could be too (re- gardless of owning a bike).

There’s football, both Gaelic

and association (soccer for people whose eyebrows have raised a bit), there’s rowing, there’s even a win- ter sports club here in UCC. Anec- dotally it seems that when people think of clubs they think of green pitches and lots of bodies running around kicking or hitting some- thing. And so it may come as a sur- prise but among the many clubs here in UCC is a motorcycle club. No pitches or running and although I can’t say that hitting things never occurs (it’s a fantastic ways to take out your frustration on a broken motorbike), there’s plenty of fun to be had. Why a motorcycle club then?

Enough people want it here! Mo- torbikes have always had an air of the exotic about them, the balance of two wheels holding a sense of excitement and adventure. Walking through campus you will see mo- torbikes of all types. Not all are fa- miliar to us but many are with our workshop next door to the Accom- modation Office on College Road being equipped to rebuild and re- paint any bike. This is where the fun lies – the

club exists to make it possible for students to take on the challenge of rebuilding motorbikes, repairing motorbikes, and also, even without

a bike themselves, to get out on one. After all, it won’t take much time before you’ll want to get out and feel what it’s like to not just turn, but to lean through a corner to see the world from a whole new angle. Literally. Clubs attain goals be they cham-

pionships or otherwise and rebuild- ing a motorbike is the same – the goal is to make the hundreds of parts that make up a motorbike, work together in so that the engine roars into life and the bike is ready for road. It could be described as a giant jigsaw – every part of it has to be just so and this requires team- work from the sourcing of a part to wiring a light. If you drive a car you’ve prob-

ably had niggling problems before that you’ve covered up with tape on the dashboard; “an oil change...what’s an oil change?” With a motorbike everything has to be perfect in order for it to work as safely as possible. On Wednesday nights, drawers of tools open and work continues on the jigsaw. Teamwork is social though – it

must be to be fun. When things go right you can hit the bar afterwards feeling exuberant, your effort being worthwhile. When things go wrong you make tea or coffee in the workshop and curse the makers

of the bike while wondering if any- one else has any ideas. Faustian pacts are mentioned and tools hit the ground. If you have ever seen Orange County Choppers then you have some idea except that we have no money, a much smaller workshop, no TV cameras and no dodgy moustaches. At the weekend we hit the road,

having breakfast and setting off. There are a lot of people who only see cars and bikes as machines to go from A to B - as a means to an end. For us the end is the saddle and the destination is no concern. Being on a motorcycle ensures that you are much more in tune with the

environment around you because you are part of it; you are IN it, not looking out AT it. You might be powerless to

change the date of your next as- signment but when your twist the throttle you feel like you have every power in the world and you do – your world. You control how fast or slow you want to enter a bend, you control how far the bike leans, you control how much brake you need. Many say you can only really

understand if you straddle a bike yourself and this is made a lot eas- ier by the presence of a motorcycle club here. It’s an intricate dance of

human and machine and you know exactly how it works because you helped to build the machine, you learned how best to ride a motor- bike and you know there are plenty of laughs to be had ahead.. Not to mention the movie nights, the overnight trips, the fantastic roads and scenery and nights out. UCC Motorcycle Club is open

to all students and no, you don’t need to own your own motorbike. We meet at 7:30pm in the work- shop next door to the Accommoda- tion Office on College Road. Do a search for UCC Motorcycle Club on Facebook for all the info.

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