Interview with "Benny Lawless"
1. When did you join Athenry FC?
- Joined for the 07/08 season and stayed til 2012 but missed the 09/10 season due to injury. Previously played with Mervue Utd., Galway Utd and Sligo Rovers.
2. Who was the biggest influence on you?
- Manager - Two people stick out – Tommy Lally, well known in Galway sporting circles, my first introduction to him was when he was Manager of Galway U-15 team to play against Manchester Utd in Terryland. Our first training session one of the best players in Galway at the time (I won’t mention names) arrived 5 mins late and Tommy sent him packing…everyone was fully focused from there…we beat them 3–2 to a packed Terryland…Seamie Rabbitte scoring the winner with a 30 yard free kick in the last few mins…great memories. I first played adult soccer with Mervue back in the Connacht Senior League in 1998 under Stephan Lally. He wasn’t afraid to throw you in and always filled you with confidence, an excellent man manager and coach. Both Stephan and Tommy were actually over Mervue when I won my first Connacht Cup in 2002.
Teammate, I’ll have to give it to my fellow Menlo man Seamie Crowe. An Athenry man now for sure ye can keep him but one of the best known sportsmen in Galway and has all the accolades to back it up. When he burst onto the local scene at around 13 or 14 clubs in England were lining up to bring him over for trials, the same year he was player of the tournament for Galway Tony Forrestal hurling and played for Newcastle Utd. in the Milk Cup a huge tournament at the time, was pipped for Player of the Tournament by Joe Cole, almost signed for Newcastle under Kevin Keegan but settled on Wolves in the end. Plays a bit of golf now I think…and junior hurling.
3. What did you achieve in your time at the Club?
- Won a Premier in 2007/08 and two Connacht Junior Cups in 2008 & 2011.
4. What are your three most memorable moments with Athenry FC?
- Have many great memories with Athenry but the Connacht Cups for me personally were the big ones in 2008 and 2011 as I scored in both finals and the celebrations of course. Really thought the 2011 squad could have won an Irish Cup but we lost to Pike Rovers in the Qtr. final in Moanbaun, I remember it vividly as I thought we had it, but they got two late goals with a galeforce wind behind them. Huge crowd in Moanbaun, great atmosphere, I would love to see a Galway team win the Irish Cup, long overdue, that was my last chance and still sticks in my head.
5. What are your three favourite football memories? - too many but got to play in Terryland Park many times and Noel Connolly always had it immaculate, was a privilege to play there.
6. Who was the toughest opponent you ever played against?
- Hibs at Bohermore, played most of my days on the left wing so came up against some serious right backs/right wingers none tougher than Mixie Harty, Babs, Johnny Walsh, Anthony Kelly…
7. In all the squads you have been part of can you name the following:
Funny Guy – Conor Cannon always laughing what’s the story.
Tough as Nails – Gary Delaney/Eric Browne/Mike O'Malley
Fastest player – David Goldby
Most Skillful – Cathal Fahy/Matthias O’Malley
Most Grumpy – see below
Best Player – Alan O’Donovan/Seamie Crowe/Noel McDonnell – take your pick
8. From all the players you have played with, name your strongest five a side team which includes yourself:
Goalkeeper – Mark Cobey
Defender – Emmet Byrne
Midfielder – Gary Forde
Striker – Cathal Fahy
Manager – Gabriel Glavin
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