It’s the All Ireland Senior Hurling final weekend and Waterford look to hold onto an amazing record against Galway. The Deise and the Tribesmen have met 10 times in the championship and on all occasions Waterford have come up trumps. This Sunday, they look to do it again and bring home Liam for the first time since 1959.
As part of our #WherePassionsUnite campaign, we caught up with Waterford player, Darragh Fives, to get his take on his experience growing up with hurling and his love for the game.
Hi Darragh, I’ll start with what was your best day of hurling to date?
“It probably goes back to winning games, I know is a cliché but when we won the league final there 2 years ago, I wasn’t actually playing the game but what I found was when the whistle blew at the very last minute, I was standing beside Jamie Barron thinking just that collective group achieving something it was really icing on the cake for a lot of hard work over the years. To finally get some silverware was a highlight of my career anyway”.
It’s interesting because you weren’t playing most people mightn’t feel the same way compared to if they had been playing can you talk to me a bit more on that?
“Well I was out injured at the time but it was just when you’re down training with these lads, that team, that bond that you create over the years you know it’s for everyone. I think even if you’re not playing on the day you still have that feeling of winning, it might be hard to develop that into a team, once everyone has that it’s a great asset to have in any team. It doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of people pulling in the right direction and everyone going for the same goal, that’s what we were doing over the last couple of years, when you finally get the reward that you put in its a huge clap on the back for your efforts throughout the year”.
How many brothers do you have?
“I have 2 brothers and Shane is my older brother, he’s on the team as well since he was 18 so he’s on it quite awhile, he’s 27 now. So we’ve been on the panel now for the last number, 5, 6 years together. Obviously we get on quite well but when we we’re starting out at times we could be competing for the same position so at times in our own household it can be quite tense and not a lot of words are spoken coming up to match selection days and things like that but we do get on quite well underneath it all”.
How long have you been playing?
“I’ve been playing hurling since I was 2 or 3 years old out in my front garden, I just remember there was me Shane and Niall and Niall was always in goal for whatever reason and he used to puck the ball out between myself and Shane and it was a tussle till the end and Shane was always left a little bit worse for wear we’ll say. I was kind of seen as the dirtier player we’ll say, and Shane I don’t know if he’s soft or what, but he used to always be the first fella in and I’d be left out there on my own. It’s great, it builds up that intensity and enjoyment for the game and there’s a real summer-esque and that’s why when the summer rolls around it kind of brings back them memories of being out in the garden playing hurling for the first time when you’re 3,4,5 years old, just the whole intensity and everything that the game has it’s brilliant!”.
What do you love about hurling?
“I love the game it’s what I know and what I was brought up on , the whole family have played it just love every bit of it, the intensity , I suppose going out and the thrill , the excitement , playing in front of 30,000, 40,000 thousand people in Thurles or Croke Park . There’s no feeling like it. You just completely zone out you notice it(the crowd) at first from that initial roar and you can sense it in the stadium that atmosphere but once the ball is thrown in your totally focused on the ball and it’s like being out in the garden again , there no one watching you and your just playing hurling”.
Intersport Elverys is proud retail partner to both Galway and Waterford GAA. It’s great to see their passion and dedication to the game translate into winning momentum.
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