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Inside The Minds of Mayo’s sports stars

Sport

Jason Doherty
FOOTBALL

Age: 28
Club: Burrishoole
Living: Drumcondra, Dublin
Occupation: Engineer

What three words would you use to describe your sporting year in 2017?
Challenging, frustrating, rewarding.

What was your sporting highlight of the last 12 months?
The phone call from Stephen [Rochford] before the Cork game is definitely up there. It was a frustrating league campaign for me and, naturally, I wanted to get more game time in championship so to get the start against Cork was an indication that my patience and improved performances had finally paid off and I didn’t want to let go of the jersey then.

What was your biggest sporting disappointment of the last 12 months?
Apart from the obvious one, it would probably be my contribution during the Galway game when I came on. I didn’t ask any questions of their defenders or make any type of impact that was required in the last 10 minutes to dig out a result.

Best live sports event you attended in the last 12 months?
Don’t have much to choose from here so I’ll go with the Ireland v Argentina rugby game a few weeks ago in Aviva. I wouldn’t be rushing back to another one though.

What’s your sporting New Year’s resolution?
Have no regrets.

Who is your ‘one to watch’ for your sport in 2018?
Barry Moran – ‘Bird’ had a frustrating year last year with injury but will be a massive asset now that he’s injury free and it might shut him up.

Who will win the Sam Maguire Cup in 2018?
Not a clue – that’s the beauty of it!!

Three people you’d like to train with?
Sonny Bill Williams, Ciarán McDonald, Jonny Sexton.

Three things you can’t live without?
Banana bread, Google Calendar app, chocolate digestives.

Your 2018 motto in three words?
Raise the bar.

Aileen Gilroy
LADIES FOOTBALL

Age: 24
Club: St Bridget’s 
Living: Killala
Occupation: Factory worker

What three words would you use to describe your sporting year in 2017?
Highs, lows, disappointment.

What was your sporting highlight of the last 12 months?
Running out in Croker in front of 46,000.

What was your biggest sporting disappointment of the last 12 months?
Losing the All-Ireland. It’s hard to lose any match, but to lose in Croke Park there’s a different atmosphere.

What’s your sporting New Year’s resolution?
To work harder than I ever did to take the next step and win the All-Ireland.

Best live sports event you attended in the last 12 months?
The Mayo men’s All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry.

Who is your ‘one to watch’ for your sport in 2018?
Amy Dowling.

Who will win the Sam Maguire Cup in 2018?
I’m going to say Mayo, of course! Mayo for Sam 2018!

Three people you’d like to train with?
Andy Moran, Michael Murphy and Conor McManus

Three things you can’t live without?
My phone, eggs and my family

Your 2018 motto in three words?
One step forward!

Dayna Finn
BASKETBALL

Age: 17
Club: Maree-Oranmore Galway/NUIG Mystics Galway
Living: Cordarragh, Kiltimagh, Co Mayo
Occupation: Student at NUIG

What three words would you use to describe your sporting year in 2017?
Unforgettable, exciting, experience.

What was your sporting highlight of the last 12 months?
Coming second in the Under-18 European Basketball Championships ‘B’ division held in Ireland.

What was your biggest sporting disappointment of the last 12 months?
Not winning gold in the Europeans and Mayo losing the All-Ireland final.

What’s your sporting New Year’s resolution?
To improve in every aspect of the game.

Best live sports event you attended in the last 12 months?
The All-Ireland final.

Who will win the Sam Maguire Cup in 2018?
Mayo


Three people you’d like to train with?
Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams

Three things you can’t live without?
Basketball, family, friends.

Your 2018 motto in three words?
Imagine, Believe, Achieve.

Iarlaith Golding
ATHLETICS

Age: 15
Club: St Colman’s South Mayo Athletics Club
Living: Balla
Occupation: Part-time student, full-time athlete  

What three words would you use to describe your sporting year in 2017?
Business was booming!

What was your sporting highlight of the last 12 months?
Breaking the Celtic Games record in the 100m hurdles in my first appearance in the Irish singlet.

What was your biggest sporting disappointment of the last 12 months?
When I missed out on an All-Ireland Indoor gold medal in the 60m Hurdles by 100th of a second!

What’s your sporting New Year’s resolution?
Defend my All Ireland title.

Best live sports event you attended in the last 12 months?
Watching Balla and my older brother win the County Minor A Title. Because he never wins anything.

Who is your ‘one to watch’ for your sport in 2018?
Myself!

Who will win the Sam Maguire Cup in 2018?
Anyone but Dublin! It won’t be Roscommon anyway!

Three people you’d like to train with?
Usain Bolt, Thomas Barr and Buff Egan! That would be TANTALIZING!

Three things you can’t live without?
Jaffa cakes, my phone and Sky Sports.

Your 2018 motto in three words?
Grind goes on.

James O’Donnell
SOCCER

Age: 23
Club: Westport United
Living: Westport
Occupation: Part-time student and Allergan Pharmaceuticals.

What three words would you use to describe your sporting year in 2017?
Enjoyable, successful, insightful.

What was your sporting highlight of the last 12 months?
There’s a few but it has to be winning the Mayo Super League with Westport again.

What was your biggest sporting disappointment of the last 12 months?
Getting knocked out of the FAI Junior Cup. With the squad we have, we know we should have done better.

What’s your sporting New Year’s resolution?
I don’t really do New Year resolutions. I just keep working hard and try to progress all year round, in all aspects of life.

Best live sports event you attended in the last 12 months?
Probably the Ireland v Austria game for the World Cup Qualifiers. It wasn’t a great game to watch, but when Jon Walters scored the atmosphere was electric in the Aviva.

Who is your ‘one to watch’ for your sport in 2017?
My one to watch in 2018 is Peter Corcoran for Westport United. He has all the attributes to push on in the game and frighten the life out of defenders. He works hard off the pitch also which is probably more important, rather than just showing up on a Sunday expecting to play well.

Who will win the Sam Maguire Cup in 2018?
Mayo, of course!

Three people you’d like to train with?
I have to put Lionel Messi in there. Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann would be the other two. All top footballers.

Three things you can’t live without?
My family, friends and my Springer Spaniels. Anyone who follows me on Instagram is probably sick of dog pictures! Jamesod03 by the way is my insta.

Your 2018 motto in three words?
Visualise your success.

Jason Prendergast
Cycling

Age: 22
Club: Louisburgh GAA
Living: Galway
Occupation: Student

What three words would you use to describe your sporting year in 2017?
Not good enough.

What was your sporting highlight of the last 12 months?
I completed my second An Post Rás with the Irish Talented Athlete Programme, which was a special moment but returning to football with my local club has to be the highlight.
It has given me a new lease of life and I’m motivated to get back playing.

What was your biggest sporting disappointment of the last 12 months?
I suppose leaving the bike behind has been tough, I realised that it wasn’t the sport for me after eight years racing and after six years being on the Irish team.
I felt I was missing out on other parts of my life and I’m thrilled to be back in the football set-up in Louisburgh and with a fantastic bunch of men.

What’s your sporting New Year’s resolution?
Stop listening to Padraic Prendergast (who hasn’t got a haircut in the last 9 months) asking is his hair too long? It’s way too long!

Who is your ‘one to watch’ for your sport in 2018?
Young Joe Dawson is a natural footballer and will take another big step next season. In cycling, keep an eye on young Ben Walsh.

Best live sports event you attended in the last 12 months?
The finishing straight of the final stage in Dublin of the Rás was very special.

Who will win the Sam Maguire Cup in 2018?
Maigh Eo

Three people you’d like to train with?
I could pick 28 but I’d be just naming out the Louisburgh team. Oh, and maybe John Obi Mikel (tactical genius).

Three things you can’t live without?
Milk, Sweet Chili Sauce, and James ‘Shlick’ Gibbon’s words of wisdom.

Your 2018 motto in three words?
Full steam ahead.

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