Every club has truly great servants to the cause. Players who are able to keep the flame of enthusiasm and desire to represent their place and their club glowing fiercely after it has extinguished in many others. Tommie Wilson is such a man.
He played senior football in 1989 with Killererin in the league, the same year as he played a lead role for the Galway minors in the Connacht championship. However due to injury he did not play senior championship that season.
His championship debut was in 1990 and 20 years later, this Sunday in Pearse Stadium, he hopes to collect his fourth senior county medal to add to the three he won in 1999, 2004 and 2007.
What keeps him going?
Tommie, who works as a rep for Rentokill covering Connacht, will be 39 years of age next month.
What keeps him driving out from his house in the Meadows in Tuam, every Tuesday and Thursday and at the weekend to pull on the club jersey?
“I love it. I still love playing football and we have a great bond in Killererin. I know that I do not have that much time left at senior football, so I want to make the most of it. Thankfully I never broke any bones and have been relatively injury free apart from a few hamstring and muscle problems, so that makes it a bit easier.”
Tommie laughs easily and is witty and self-deprecating.
“You have to pace yourself at training though and recovery takes a good bit longer. The younger lads might be five or 10 seconds faster than you in some of the longer runs, but you have to try to compensate for that by using your head when the ball is in play. You have to make all your runs count and try to use possession well when you have it.”
Wilson speaks very highly of his player-manager, Tommie Joyce.
“Tommie has done really well in his first year in charge. He is very organised and professional. He started us off early in the year with weights and got things going well from the start, which is always hugely important. He is very open-minded to new ideas and we have been go-karting and things like that to keep morale high in the camp.
“Having been involved with a good few managers between Galway and Killererin, Tommie knows how to run a good show and things have been going well for us. Hopefully we can finish with a success next weekend.”
The evergreen Wilson accepts the general consensus that there will not be too much between the sides.
“Corofin have been the best side in Galway for the past few years and they will be very difficult to beat. But there is no fear there on either side. They beat us by three points last year when they drove on in the last 10 minutes to win. But it was level with eight minutes to go and we don’t intend letting that happen again.
“Tom Hughes, our midfielder, was injured last year and with Tom back winning a lot of kick-outs this season, we have been moving a bit better. Without the ball, you can’t do much.
“It will probably be low scoring and both teams are well able to keep possession. A three-point lead will be a big lead on Sunday, and if anyone gets a bit ahead, they are well able to drop men back to protect a lead.
“We are looking forward to it and we are going to Pearse Stadium to win. Whichever team produces the best form will have the Frank Fox going home with them Sunday evening. We believe we have the panel of players and the experience all through the team, from Alan Keane up to the last sub on the panel to get a victory.
“We have lost county finals and won a few over the years, so we feel we know what it takes to win. It won’t be easy. But sure, if you don’t believe you can win, you have no point in travelling.”