Captain O Curraoin ready to dig deep again to overturn Kildare

Galway u-21 captain Fiontán Ó Curraoin - looking to dig out another win when facing Kildare on Saurday.

Galway u-21 captain Fiontán Ó Curraoin - looking to dig out another win when facing Kildare on Saurday.

Galway u-21 captain Fiontán Ó Curraoin has had a busy lifestyle since January - juggling books and football.

A full-time PE and biology student in third year at DCU, he is constantly on the go - representing his club, county, and college at various levels of football. This Saturday he will line out in his usual midfield position against a highly-rated Kildare side in the All-Ireland u-21 semi-final.

It is a gruelling schedule, but one he genuinely enjoys.

"It can be very busy all right, but when you are winning games and involved with such a great bunch of lads and a top class management set-up, it is worth it,” he says. “We were delighted to win the Connacht final and we are hopeful of producing a big performance on Saturday too. Kildare are a fine side, but if we cut out our mistakes and play to our best ability, we hope to come through."

The Micheal Breathnach's clubman has already won an All-Ireland u-21 medal from Galway’s successful run two years ago, and he collected a Sigerson medal last year with DCU, so he knows what it takes to win big games.

"We made too many mistakes against Roscommon in the Connacht final and it almost cost us the game. We went three or four points down and it didn't look good, but we kept going and dug out a win. We knew there was a good bit of grit in the team - we saw that against Mayo in the semi-final. In the end, it was that grit that pulled us through in the Connacht final and we will need more of the same on Saturday."

Ó Curraoin is expecting a real battle in and around the midfield area against Kieran McGeeney's Lillies.

"On Saturday we need to keep the ball when we have it and use possession well. Kildare have some very good fielders around midfield and Seán Hurley and Tom Moolick are tall players. From that perspective it is great to have Tom Flynn back fit again as it gives us options. Tom is a really good player and hopefully the few of us in action around the middle can do really well as a unit and keep the ball heading towards our forwards.

“Kildare are good, but when Longford ran at them and tore into them in the Leinster final, they got on top and pushed them all the way. We need to do that from the start and keep the effort and work-rate really high from the throw-in."

Ó Curraoin, who is a past pupil of Colásite Na Coiribe in Galway city, has plenty of company on his trips back and forth to Dublin during the week. His car is wedged with talented footballers and young scholars - Tom Flynn, Gary Kelly and Edwin Murray are all in DCU, while James Shaughnessy is in St Pat’s.


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