Patriots Day, Fences, the Great Wall and John Wick: Chapter 2 are all currently vying for your hard-earned pounds at the Box Office right now, choose between any of these films and chances are you’ve largely done so because of the star names attached.
The oft-used phrase goes “big names put bums on seats” and it’s not only the cinematic world where this applies - the faithful or aptly not so faithful fans of the Irish Premiership could also find themselves deserting the sofa in favor of attending their local grounds enticed by the opportunity to see recent ‘big name’ arrivals play in their backyard.
The league has found itself with a contingent of recognisable big names this season: Roy Carroll between the sticks at Windsor Park, Nacho Novo in the Oval and while sadly Paddy McCourt has already departed Lurgan for Ballybofey, Glenavon still boast the exciting and exotic De Vecchi Marins and his samba skills.
While their best days may be behind them and their performances are hopeful swansongs at best (it’s harder to get the good roles once you’re over 30) their presence sends a message of optimism to fans that better players may become available to their teams in the future in light of new TV deals.
It would be wise to heed the warning of the English Premier League and not overly invest in foreign imports at the determent of the leagues authentic style, the promotion of its youth and basis for the countries national representatives on the international scene careful selection can surely only be a benefit to the managers, teams, league and finally the fans who pay to support their sides.
While none of the aforementioned names are likely to win Oscars for their performances and while other known names have come and gone the prospect of having numerous recognizable names in the league at once would have been unfathomable in recent years and while De Vecchi Marins may not have been wowing us one any big stage in his career the fact that Glenavon, a team hardly revered for their success retain his services at a age that could still be considered his peak remains a relative coup.
Hats off to Glenavon too, of the three clubs who possessed four“star names” mentioned Glenavon had two in their ranks and while Paddy McCourt’s time has come to an abrupt end the ambition to challenge the big boys of the league for the big names in commendable.
How the league takes to the notion of further foreign imports may for the time hinder on the services of these names in their respective jerseys, a damp squib of an experiment expect hesitation to seek outside reinforcements, if a success expect more managers to have their eyes turned to foreign shores, either way, expect more.