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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Direct provision, Derry, Ireland and more of the week's best sportswriting

Lock the door, stick the kettle on and dive into some of the best sports stories the internet had to offer this week.

1.They were far shier at the Clondalkin Towers Direct Provision Centre earlier, but put them together at the back of a minibus and they quickly kick into life.

“Ethan stresses he has two favourite footballers, Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Jack Byrne of Shamrock Rovers, who we are currently on our way to go watch. Since Rovers teamed up with the Clondalkin Towers, Friday nights have become something to look forward to all week.”

In The Examiner, Ciaran Kennedy goes to Tallaght with a football-mad group of boys.

2. “It became a bit of a circumstance thing. Steve Staunton said I could bring my kids and they would put them in a hotel room with a babysitter, but what kind of life is that for two kids? So I didn’t do it and I had to pick and choose my moments that I could play for Ireland and when I couldn’t. I just found the 10-day camps were too much for me to give.”

The Athletic’s Sam Lee sits down with Stephen Ireland to try and get to the root of his troubled career. (Paywall, but a free trial may be available).

3. “Any great athlete will tell you the urge to redefine your limits doesn’t wane with age. It gets worse, and so conspires against future happiness. Legacies fade, talent diminishes, but the drive to do something great remains. Extreme climbers are so hardwired for the quest that for many, the only way forward is to die on a mountain.”

Seth Wickersham gets to grips with the incredible world of free-climbing, for ESPN.

4. “Kerry supporters filed down the steps and headed for the Páirc Uí Chaoimh tunnel and then west. But on the day in 1990 when Nelson Mandela was welcomed to Dublin as ‘Ooh-aah Paul McGrath’s Da’, Corcoran would not let the Kerry supporters’ long walk to freedom go unnoticed. “Lock the fucking gates and make them watch!” he roared as he stood up amongst the crowd in the stand.”

The Examiner carry an extract from the story of Cork’s 1990 dual success, The Double. Full disclosure, Adrian Russell is editor of The42 and has not approved this submission.

5. “Derry’s a football town,” he said. “The Brandy is the biggest social gathering in the north west. It’s so important to the local people. We’re also working to extend our reach beyond our own community.”

Tony Evans of the Independent writes ‘how football helped bring two sides of the political gulf together in the divided city of Derry.’

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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