The Eirgrid U21 Championship reaches its conclusion this week with the meeting of Tipperary and Tyrone in the final in Parnell Park. We've already looked the greatest shocks in the modern history of the U21 championship and asked you to vote for the greatest U21 team of them all.
We empathise with the lot of the U21 player - an overworked individual if ever there was one. To let them know we care, here are eight dilemmas every U21 player faces.
1. Receiving more scrutiny on Hogan Stand forums than senior players
Depending on the current senior manager's attitude, it will either be a case of 'why isn't he starting for the seniors?' or 'how the hell is he starting for the seniors?' There is no in-between.
2. Having to forget about the Disputes Resolution Authority's ruling on your Sigerson Cup eligibility
You've your heart set on studying PE in DCU (that's your story anyway) but you've already toogged for LIT. Someone kicks up a fuss and the whole thing ends up in front of the pedants on the Disputes Resolution Authority. Very distracting.
Can happen to players over the age of 21, but it's usually the preserve of this age-group.
3. St. Patrick's Day is in Lent after all
The GAA typically stage a host of matches in and around St. Patrick's Day. While the rest of the country enjoys/disgraces itself, you, if you're serious about the thing (to quote Sean Og De Paor) will have to live like a monk. The closeness of vital matches to St. Patrick's Day also informs the next dilemma...
4. Hoping the club champions do shite in the All-Ireland series
Unless of course, you happen to play for the club champions.
5. A problem that arises if you do too well - Being asked to form the backbone of a struggling senior team
If you go particularly well in the U21 championship, there is a chance that a desperate senior manager will plionk all his eggs in the U21 basket for the first round of the championship. As Galway showed in 2013 and Kerry showed in 1990, this almost never goes well.
6. Becoming overly familiar with Portlaoise and Tullamore
It's probably true that the only reason a person from Dublin will ever go to Tullamore is if they happen to be an inter-county U21 player.
7. After you win the title, reading op-eds in the newspapers suggesting that the competition be abolished altogether
Some of these columnists, they want the whole thing to go the way of the Cup Winners Cup.
8. Losing all your best players if the manager of the senior team happens to be also the manager of the U21 team
He might decide he wants to preserve players for an important League game.
See also: The 5 Greatest Shocks In The Eirgrid U21 Football Championship