In footballing terms, when you come from Wicklow, the bad days can outweigh the good. But does it stop them trying? Absolutely not. Gaining promotion from Division 4 last year, the men from the garden county made a vow to stay in their new surroundings of the third tier. Amazingly, they did just that. With arguably one of the shocks of the year, they sentenced last years Ulster champions, Cavan, to the lower echelons of the league. In the last 10 years, the role of a goalkeeper has changed drastically and Wicklow boast a fine one. Not just keeping the scores out, he is more than capable of kicking a long range score too, which he proved on that faithful day against Cavan. This week we went ClubSpotting with Baltinglass man Mark Jackson.
1. What are your first memories of your club Baltinglass?
At a young age I wouldn’t have played much football. I would have been more into playing soccer up until I was around 15/16. At the age of 14/15, Kevin O’Brien convinced me to start playing more football with Baltinglass so my first real memories of the club would have been playing u16 and Minor under Kevin O’Brien, which made me really fall in love with football and that's what I’ve stuck with ever since!
2. Who were your sporting idols growing up?
Stephen Cluxton no doubt would have been the idol would have looked up to growing up. He revolutionized the position and art of goalkeeping, and definitely would be someone I would have grown up looking at and trying to push myself towards.
3.What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?
Thankfully I’ve had quite a couple of good memories both in a Wicklow and Baltinglass shirt. My Wicklow championship debut against Offaly in 2018 and getting Man of the Match in the game was a pretty proud moment for me. But winning championships with Baltinglass in 2016 and 2020 are memories that are hard to beat!
4.Toughest opponent you have faced?
Daniel Flynn from Kildare is a serious footballer, played against him a couple of times with county and with TU Dublin in college, and he has put a few goals past me in his time!
5. Best Player you have played with?
Thankfully I’ve got to play with some serious players over the years with Wicklow, Baltinglass and TU Dublin. Stevie McMenamin from Donegal and Brian Howard from Dublin are two of the best inter-county players in the game at the minute which I played with in college. Seanie Furlong is another class act, who has been a Wicklow stalwart for the last 15 years and John McGrath, a club mate of mine who I’ve played with for both club and county is a fantastic footballer with a serious attitude that I have definitely learned a lot from.
6. What are your hopes and ambitions for the remainder of the season?
The main aim for the rest of this season for us in Baltinglass is of course to try and hold on to our crown as club champions in Wicklow, with a lot of new promising young players coming up in the club we are hoping these players add to the strength in our squad. Then hopefully get back in training with Wicklow and try improve as a squad and push on in Division 3.
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.