What The Supporters Mean to Mayo’s Brendan Harrison
Mayo are just one win away from making history and are aiming to end a run of three All-Ireland defeats since 2012 but more importantly, they are hoping to bring home Sam Maguire for the first time since 1951.
Intersport Elverys are proud sponsor of the Green and Red and it’s great to see the player’s passion and dedication to the game translate into winning momentum. We are also delighted to be the player’s destination for GAA boots, supplying them with the latest and greatest styles.
As part of our #WherePassionsUnite campaign, we caught up with All-Star corner-back, Brendan Harrison, to hear what motivates the Mayo man and what the supporters mean to him
Talk to me about the Mayo supporters and how it affects your game?
The Mayo supporters, they’re like no other supporters, they’ll follow you all over the country, they’ve gone through a lot of disappointment, they’ve gone through a lot of ups a lot of downs but they’re always there. They’ve always got our back. They’re always there to cheer us on or when we’re down they’ll try and urge us on. Any time, like homecomings after losing All Irelands or after losing games, they’re there to pick us back up again and I don’t think there’s any supporters out there like them.
What do you love about football, where does the passion come from?
Representing my county, my parish, the lads that I grew up with, when they’re wishing you luck, they’re the guys that you worked hard with when you were younger before you got onto the county scene. We’re family, all the good luck messages. Look it, when you’re in the middle of it, it’s tough going and it’s tough getting to all the training sessions and getting out in the hail and the rain and when you look back on it and look over the year that’s when you can kind of put a smile on your face and say it was all well worth it.
What was a career highlight in your life and what you specific memory about that is?
One of the ones I was thinking of, was marching around All Ireland final day, with the people that you’ve gone through hell with, you remember when you were a kid being in the stand looking down on these guys marching around in front 82,000 people and now you have the opportunity to be out there with them and then the guys behind you, you’ve gone through hell and back with them throughout the year, good times and bad times and you’re ready for battle, and that would be a big highlight for me. Thinking back how proud I felt to be out there to put on the Mayo jersey, I suppose and represent my county.
Describe to me how that feels?
You feel confident, a little bit nervous about the game ahead but you still have a smile on your face going around thinking after all the work you’ve gone through over the years to get to that position and now you have your opportunity to go out and do it. It’s a feeling, like, I’ve finally made it to the place where I dreamt about playing when you’re out your backyard pretending you’re out in front of 82,000 in Croke Park, it’s just a surreal feeling.
Describe to me what it’s like running out into Croke Park on All Ireland final day when there are 82,000 people there?
I suppose running out on All-Ireland final day, the noise you can’t hear 2 yards away from you, it’s electric. There’s a serious buzz, there’s music playing, it’s different to most other games but it’s a serious feeling but then saying that once you get into your warm-up and get going for all you know you could of been out in front of nobody, you’ve the blinkers on and you don’t realise where you are you’re just so focused on getting in and getting the job done
What’s your motivation that keeps you going?
For me, my main motivation, is pure competition, the guy I could be marking in a few weeks time, he’s probably out running or he’s getting into the gym so if I want to compete with him I need to be going into the gym and maybe doing a bit more, run a extra kilometre, do the extra work, to win your battle on the day. I wouldn’t visualise a specific person, more so, my opposite number, just thinking about a guy I could be marking is out there right now working right now so If I have any chance of competing with him I have to get off the couch or get out of bed and get out there and work hard
Is there something in particular that you love about the game that most people might not enjoy?
I love the feeling after working hard, after a real tough session, where you slogged it out when you get into bed that night after the training session you lie down and you have a sense of satisfaction that your got something done today and worked hard and it will help you later on in the year when you have to go to the reservoir for it again. Especially on game days you’re thinking about it, different training sessions that you went through or the days when you were nearly getting sick trying to get yourself up to the standard. They’re the things that are going through your mind when you’re going onto the team bus to a match, thinking about all the work you’ve done that it’s in the bank and you can do the miles when you start the game.
On that what motivates you to keep going? There has to be a core belief that you can go and win the All Ireland?
I think it’s just pure competitiveness, if you’re in the sport, if you’re in any sport, no one likes to be losing so you’re going to keep at it, you’re going to keep working and you’re going to work harder than you did last year to try to get there. I don’t think the people in Mayo will ever stop; we’ll keep going at it. I wouldn’t be in it if I didn’t think we could win an All Ireland.
From everyone at Intersport Elverys, we wish Mayo GAA the very best of luck in the upcoming All Ireland final. We’re behind them no matter what.
Get geared up for the final – shop MAYO GAA here