Interview with "Conor O'Grady"
1. When did you join Athenry FC and when did you finish up?
- I think I was in 6th class in the boys school and someone said there was an underage soccer team starting up in Athenry. So I went along for a kick about one evening in Raheen and that was the start of it. I started playing with Athenry FC when I was 12 years old and began with the U-13's. Much credit has to go to Johnny Delaney and also Kevin Callanan for getting the underage teams started in the club and to Peter Gilhooley and Tommy Fahy for continuing the strong underage set up. I left for a year when I moved to Dublin and played a season up there with a team in Crumlin but it was nothing compared to playing for your home club. Luckily I got to move back home and played another season or 2 with the club before progressing to the Over-35's.
2. Who was the biggest influence on you?
- Johnny Delaney for getting me interested in soccer & Dunners and Timmy for their coaching from U-18's up to Senior.
Pete and Tommy too as they were always there supporting teams from the club.
3. What did you achieve in your time at the Club?
- First Division, 2A & 2B titles, back in the 00's. They were great years and we were on a roll. I remember getting to the Michael O'Byrne cup semi final and losing on pens to Renmore. They went on to be beaten by Mervue in the final but I always wonder what may have been if we'd got to the final. The way we were playing I think we would have had a chance.
4. What are your three most memorable moments with Athenry FC?
The two league titles we won with the B team and scoring in a league title playoff against Medtronic.
Celebrating the above in The Hop.
Playing alongside by brother Darren for the club. (He occasionally reminds me of a match we played together for the 'D' team when he scored 4!)
5. What three things did you enjoy most about playing for Athenry FC?
Playing football with mates who you'd grown up with. Winning leagues/promotions of course and the general set up of the club from underage to Senior level shows why the club is one of the best in the county if not the country.
6. Who was the toughest opponent you ever played against?
- For me I never liked playing West Utd. Tough team with good players and the occasional off the ball incident.
7. In all the squads you have been part of can you name the following:
Funny Guy - Paddy 'Spanky' Quinn
Tough as Nails - Derek McDonagh
Fastest player - Paul 'Chopper' Neary
Most Skillful - Wayne Finn
Most Grumpy - on the field Neville Hynes (a gent off it).
Best Player - Gary Coffey
8. From all the players you have played with, name your strongest five a side team which includes yourself:
Defender - Niall Tomas
Defender - Emmet Byrne
Midfielder - Gary Coffey
Striker - Vlasta
Manager - Dunners
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