sideline chat

Five Connacht titles, two All Ireland medals 1998 and 2001; and two All Stars.

What age did I start playing: I started playing with my five brothers at a very young age probably six or seven years of age.

First game: It was a primary schools' game St Pats v Gardenfield.

Ideal position and why: It was centre forward as I could always drop out to midfield if I needed to get into the game and could always have an influence on the score board also.

Who inspired you growing up and now: Growing up it was my two older brother John and Murt, both of them winning Hogan Cup medals with St Jarlaths. Now it has to be my first cousin Gary O Donnell, who is so consistent with his performances for Tuam Stars and Galway year-in year-out.

Did you always aspired to play at top level: Yes, sport was all that I was interested when I was young and I loved playing all sports.

What do you particularly like about sport: The buzz of winning and the fun afterward with your teammates.

Greatest influences/role model: My greatest influences were my dad and uncle Paddy growing up.

Biggest challenge: Overcoming my cruciate ligament knee injury in 2000 [in a club game against UCG] to make it back to be part of the 2001 All Ireland winning team.

Greatest success/achievement: Playing major roles on the 1998/2001 All Ireland successes.

Favourite memory: When the final whistle went after the 1998 final to be grabbed by my brother John - a huge emotional moment.

Greatest regret: Not winning a Club All Ireland in 1994 losing to Bellaghy of Derry in the semi.

Fiercest opponent/s: I played against many great opponents. Seamus Moynihan, Glen Ryan, Henry Downey, Kieran McGeeney and Galway’s Thomas Mannion were the best.

Strengths/weaknesses: Strengths, I am very driven. Weaknesses, headstrong (thick ).

If you were not playing your sport, what sport would you want to play: l would have loved to play Aussie Rules as it’s a mix between rugby and football.

Still involved in sport?: Yes,I was involved with my club minor team last year.

Favourite sport person: I have many. Gaelic football: Ciarán Kilkenny Dublin and Chico Kelly Tuam Stars. Rugby: New Zealand Barrett brothers and Jimmy Maughan Tuam RFC. Soccer: Messi and Pa Dunne Dynamo Blues

Best/worst aspect of lockdown: Best: More time for myself and not running around looking after a team. Worst: No friends calling over, no games ,or pub to go to.


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