Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

GAA: Girl power keeps Seamie on the ball

Seamie Granaghan finds himself outnumbered by the fair sex within his household - yet football still remains the No 1 topic!





Not that Seamie holds sway ? what man does when surrounded by females ? but the fact that his five daughters have all had an involvement in ladies football ensures that the subject remains high on the domestic agenda.

And even when daughter Jackie got married, she found herself invading another sport ? basketball.

Her husband is Adrian Fulton, the well-known Ulster player, and the couple live in Belfast .

Her sisters Elaine, Lesley, Colleen and Julie have all represented the Bundoran club and shared in an under-age title.

The family also pursue a strong involvement in showjumping given Seamie's long-time interest in horses.

Mum Joan, like Seamie, is a native of Bundoran and the couple regard the popular Donegal seaside resort as idyllic in every sense.

"I enjoy playing golf ? I'm out at least twioce a week - and it's just great here. The number of ex-footballers I run into, on and off the course, is amazaing. It's a smashing sport and seems to be growing in popularity all the time," says Seamie.

Only recently, his former Donegal colleague Pauric McShea organised a Golf Classic that proved a huge success.

Seamie's commitment to Donegal as a follower is absolute.

He will be in Clones today to see the team bid to reach the Ulster Final against either Derry or Monaghan.

Like everyone else in his county, he feels that the 15-year famine since their last Ulster crown landed has been much too lengthy.

"We have hit the bar, as it were, too often in recent years and now I think we are ready to be Ulster champions again," he proclaims.

The current standard of county football, he feels, is dictated by stamina as much as anything else.

"You now have in essence what are 80-minute contests and you often hear managers state that it's a 20-man game. They are right ? the physical demands on the players are huge.

"With Donegal having already won the National League, there is plenty of optimism here but we're certainly not complacent.

"To reach the Ulster final would be great and anything after than will be a real bonus," adds Seamie.

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