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ClubSpotting with Shane McGuigan

The renaissance of Derry football over the last 3 seasons is a welcome one. Their decline wasn’t pretty to look at as it unfolded before our eyes, slipping down from Division 1 and eventually finding themselves in Division 4 was the wake-up call those in power in the Oak Leaf county needed. In the midst of their decline, however, Slaughtneil were keeping the tradition alive. 2017 saw them crowned Ulster champions in Football, Hurling, and Camogie, it's testament to them that the town was still standing after celebrating so much success. Shane McGuigan has blossomed into a star for both club and county and has truly announced himself to the country has he has proven pivotal in Derry’s ascension back up the divisions again. This week we went to Slaughtneil and went ClubSpotting with the man himself.

What are your first memories of your club Slaughtneil?

My first memories would probably be the club's first senior championship in 2004. It was a massive occasion for the club and I remember the team bringing the cup into the primary school the following week. To meet your idols at that time was something special.

Who were your sporting idols growing up?

Outside of GAA, I grew up a Liverpool supporter, so Steven Gerrard was someone who I looked up to. I loved everything he did on the pitch. I also admired Richie McCaw and Dan Carter and the All Blacks in general. Within Gaelic growing up in Derry Paddy Bradley was Derry's best player and main scorer. Being left-footed I tried to copy a lot of his plays.

What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?

Last year I was made vice-captain of our senior team, but due to a season-ending injury to the captain, I was forced to step up into the captaincy role. Leading the boys out in the championship last year and lifting the trophy will without a doubt be the proudest moment of my career.

Toughest opponent you have faced?

Jason Foley from Kerry.

Best Player you have played with?

Patsy Bradley.

Any pre-game rituals or superstitions?

Put my socks on before my boots.

What are your hopes and ambitions for the remainder of the season?

Probably get as far in the championship in both codes, wherever that takes us.

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