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ClubSpotting With John Heslin

In 1541, Meath handed over the region of North Teffia into the hands of English landlords during a reconquest of Ireland from our British neighbours. 474 years later, that divorce came back to bite Meath firmly on the behind when their former brethren, from the area now known as Westmeath, sucker-punched them in what was one of the best games of the last decade. The man that dealt the final blow that day, was John Heslin. In 22 previous championship meetings, they had never managed to topple Meath. 474 years from now, that goal will still be firmly etched in Westmeath folklore. This week we went ClubSpotting with John Heslin to St. Loman’s GAA Club.

What are your first memories of your club St. Lomans?

Joe Matthews (RIP) telling me not to kick the ball if there is space in front of me, run like hell! Just a memory that sticks with me, he is a true club legend.

Who were your sporting idols growing up?

To be honest I have many sporting idols but to name a few Dessie Dolan, Rory O’Connell, Roy Keane and Ronaldinho. Pretty sure there is still a Roy Keane poster on my wall at home!

What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?

Captaining my club to our first county championship was certainly a highlight with the club. From a county perspective our win against Meath was a proud day.

Toughest opponent you have faced?

Paddy Keenan and Michael Fitzsimons.

Best player you have played with?

Jack McCaffrey.

You are somewhat of an endangered species in that you juggle the busy life of farming and agriculture with the increasingly busy life of an inter-county footballer, how do you find the time to do both?

You can always find time to do the things you love! We organise a lot of the main jobs around football but I’m encouraged to keep playing as football won’t last forever!

Any pre game rituals or superstitions?

A good dinner and sleep the night before is about the height of it!

What are your hopes and ambitions for 2021?

We aspired to stay in Division 2 and get to a Leinster Final with Westmeath but came up short. Despite this, we played some nice football and I think we are all looking forward to next season. With regard to the club, we are reigning champions so our aim is to be in the mix again this year. Westmeath club championship is competitive so it should be an exciting couple of months. Personally, my aim is to play some part as I’m currently recovering from knee surgery.

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.

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