1935. A lot has happened since then. World War II, JFK and MLK assassinated, the birth of technology, they even built a wall in Berlin and tore it down again in that space of time. Yes, a lot can happen in 85 years. One thing that didn’t happen in those 85 years, amazingly, was Tipperary footballers getting their hands on the Munster Cup. In the darkness that was 2020, the Tipperary footballers were a beacon of light. Their captain Conor Sweeney, deservedly collected an All-Star for his performances along the way and one would have to wonder if they would have reached the promised land without him. This week we went to Ballyporeen to go ClubSpotting with the man himself.
What are your first memories of your club Ballyporeen?
My first memory of playing for Ballyporeen is an u-8 blitz in a local GAA club here beside us. I don’t remember much about the tournament itself but I can just remember getting out of the car ready for road. Other than that I have great memories of u-12 and u-14 success where we won two county B titles, the finals were both played in Semple stadium which was very cool at the time. My father was also manager of those teams which was extra special.
Who were your sporting idols growing up?
Some of the older club players who I would have trained with when I started playing Intermediate football with Ballyporeen in 2007. We were an Intermediate team back then but we had some great players who I admired. I learned a lot from those guys over the next few years. They were tough, intelligent players. From an intercounty perspective, I always loved watching the Kerry players, forwards like the Gooch, Paul Galvin and Declan O Sullivan. I loved how they played the game and I was lucky enough to get to play against all three of those guys.
What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?
Lifting the Munster senior Football cup in 2020. We had been trying for so long and to finally get over the line was incredible.
Toughest opponent you have faced?
James Loughrey who is originally from Antrim but moved to Cork. I marked him a few times and always found it difficult. He was very tight. A great player. He is retired now thank god.
Best Player you have played with?
Probably Michael Murphy. I played with him in Australia in 2017. I just think he is the best all round player. He has it all. A sound man too.
Any pre game rituals or superstitions?
Not really, I wouldn't be superstitious at all. I like to have my gear bag ready the night before a game alright, I will never leave it until the day of the game. That's about it really.
What are your hopes and ambitions for the remainder of the season?
To get as fit and strong as I can for pre-season next year while enjoying the club season with Ballyporeen over the next few weeks. I will continue to work on my skills as much as I can, it's something that I love to do.
What is ClubSpot?
ClubSpot offers a wide range of features to ease the burden on volunteers in sports clubs and to help clubs increase their revenues. With a wide range of features, online payment and a customised Club App included.
For more information or to arrange a product demonstration for your club contact firstname.lastname@example.org.