Back in the day - Simon Poland shoulder surgery on hold - The Irish News, July 13 1999
Bank of Ireland Ulster SFC semi-final: Down 2-14 Tyrone 0-15
SURGERY on Simon Poland’s shoulder, pencilled in for this month, could take place “post-Championship” as Down look ahead to the Ulster final.
The Mourne county physio stated last week that the Bryansford defender would visit a surgeon “in the next fortnight” but the Mourne men’s march to face Armagh looks set to postpone any operation.
Manager Pete McGrath, relieved to have no immediate injury worries apart from knocks and bruises after their victory over Tyrone, confirmed: “Simon came through very well, with no ill effects.
“Hopefully the problem’s cleared up but whatever surgery is required will definitely be postchampionship, somewhere down the line.
“He can probably get along without it but it’s a simple enough operation – James McCartan had it last year and his shoulder has given him no bother, it’s a fail-safe procedure.”
Speaking of the erstwhile skipper, McGrath was still in the dark about his condition but expects the expert diagnosis on the Burren player’s back problem to be carried out this week.
“We just don’t know about his prospects, we’ll have to wait until his back settles before it’s assessed.”
Despite bed rest being prescribed to ‘wee James’, McGrath “always suspected he’d turn up at the Tyrone match, being the character that he is: “He simply couldn’t sit in the dugout – partly because of his back but also through sheer agitation, he spent a very animated last 35 minutes!”
SEVERAL Tyrone players are understood to have asked Danny Ball to stay on as team manager following Sunday’s Ulster semi-final defeat to Down.
Ball’s three-year term in charge concluded with the loss at Casement Park, but he confirmed yesterday he will be making no immediate decisions on his future.
“People have been making a lot of this three-year contract. I don’t have a contract, I’m doing what I do for the love of the game,” he said.
“If other people feel they can do better then good luck to them. I’m not making any decisions at this moment in time.”
Ball said he had been encouraged by the players’ support and that the inevitable clamour for change within the county was something “previous managers in Tyrone have had a problem with.”
“The slating of managers doesn’t seem fair. I don’t take pressure on myself but certain people out there have to be realistic.”
CAVAN youth star Andy Murray has been drafted into the Ireland international team for this month’s two-match tour of Italy.
Murray, who produced a golden display in last week’s Gaelic Youth championships at Mosney, is named at featherweight for the Italian clash.
Ireland’s 13-strong panel begins squad training at the National Gym in Dublin on Saturday and includes Ulster boxers Mark Casey and Owen Gribben (Hall’s Mill, Laurencetown), Martin Lindsey (Immaculata), Paul Baker (Pegasus) and Patrick Taylor (St Agnes).
Leading referee/judge Jack Poucher from Newry is included in the list of Irish officials with the first match in Perusia on July 23, followed two days later with a second international clash in Caserta.