by Paul Fitzpatrick
Team Ireland jetted off to Calgary for the World Handball Championships this morning (SUN) but there could be some tension in the air (literally).
With some of the members of the official Irish squad vying with each other for titles, that's understandable. Take Robbie McCarthy as an example - the Irish team captain is gunning for a first Men's Open world crown but, to do so, he may well have to beat his own squad team-mate Paul Brady.
Naval recruit McCarthy, of course, has a glittering CV with one major hole - he has never beaten the Cavanman.
Asked about his preparations last week, though, he came out fighting.
'I haven’t played Paul since March last year at a pro tournament in New York where the game went to a tiebreaker, but I’ve learned a lot since then,' said McCarthy (28).
The most important thing is that Paul Brady is only human - he pulls on his gloves to play, just like the rest of us..
I used to fear playing Paul, I thought he was a machine, but things have clicked for me in the past few months and the Navy has taught me that only I can make things happen and that I control own my destiny.
'Other years, I tried to combine both codes [40x20 and 60x30], but this year, I’ve been able to focus on 40x20 and I can see that in my game,' said McCarthy.
I’m really looking forward to the Worlds and I hope to play Paul. I’ve never been this confident and I’m excited about testing myself.
Sounds like fighting talk to us.
Here's McCarthy in action against another huge rival, Cork sensation Killian Carroll, in the Irish Nationals earlier this year.