Glenealy’s Warren Kavanagh’s Post Match Reaction & More

Well Warren great win today what are your thoughts on that game?

It was a great game and it lived up to what the championship is all about. A great start for us personally, as a lot of people wrote us off and we made sure just to work hard and focus on getting this first win! Bray are a great side and we had to fight very hard just to scrape a win against them. It was a great game to be apart of and a great one to begin the 2020 championship! It’s such a pity with all this going on that more people can’t go to the games to support both sides and make the atmosphere better especially when the game was a very good one like this evening!

The guess would be that being written off in any hurling game is something that wouldn’t sit well in a proud hurling club like Glenealy, was that something that had been mentioned by management or club supporters in the build up to the players?
It was mentioned to us alright. Few lads had read it but look we didn’t sit up every night dwelling on things like that either. People are entitled to their opinion. We just focused on the task at hand. And thankfully enough we got the win today

Today saw huge performances up front from the likes of Danny Staunton, Gavin Weir, Bosco Jnr and Alan Driver but the Glenealy defence held every Bray player scoreless bar Christy and Mark Lennon. What are your thoughts on the Glenealy defensive units performance today?
Its always difficult to hold any player scoreless with the calibre of forwards bray have. We just made sure to not let any sloppy simple goals in and shut up shop when they came through. Its easier said than done mind you! The full back line may not have got on much ball ourselves but thats a good sign if the opposition aren’t scoring I suppose. It was a tough day and not every day is going to work out in your favour like that! We were happy with the performance of the team all over the field. We worked tirelessly to win the dirty ball.

As your first hurling match with the new restrictions on crowds how did it feel in comparison to a pre pandemic game and Glenealy are renowned for a strong and vocal support, had you many people who missed out on attending that would normally be there to roar you on?

It was a very weird feeling! You hear the players on the pitch a lot more thats for sure. (Glenealy lads probably sick of hearing me shouting 🙈) there would be plenty of people that would go to every game that weren’t able to get a ticket and its upsetting to see because these would be the same people that would do anything for the club and also kids who would have older family members on the team but unfortunetely it’s out of the clubs hands. You can’t keep everyone happy as much as you want to. Hopefully it lifts soon and we can get more at the games because aughrim is a big place and I dont agree with the GAA restrictions personally. You could go to a practise game any where in the county and there could be the guts of 400/500 people at it including teams/management and supporters and there is nothing said or mentioned. But somehow we aren’t allowed fit more than 200 in our county grounds that in a normal world holds thousands! There is enough room to facilitate it. Hopefully the GAA changes it soon

So many people are involved in making a club successful, During the week we saw a post from a new couple who had just moved to Glenealy and a reply from a lady who has been the heart and soul of Glenealy GAA asking “Have you any Kids” and “Do They Hurl” gave a real insight into what has made Glenealy the hurling powerhouse it is today! Who influenced you most in the club on your journey to senior hurling?

Yes that’s sheila all over, a few of us had a good laugh about that. She never stops. She is great 🙌🏼 ah there would be plenty of people that helped me along the way! Peadar De Hora would have been the beginning of it all for me as a kid, he thought me all the basics. I’ve fond memories of that time back then. Myself and Gavin Weir went to our first training together i think he was 4 and I was 5.. Then you’ve the likes of Andy Fitz, Paddy Staunton, Joe Linane, sheamie, amongst many others. A huge influence on me was Michael Anthoney at minor level and still to this day ya could ask him for advice, handy for me as he lives next door haha! But especially myself because I’m still trying to perfect full back and no better man to learn from for that position! Another that springs to mind once I hit adult level was Seamus Murphy. He gave me my Glenealy Debut and then a few years later gives me the Wicklow Captaincy so he showed a lot of confidence in me and its something I’ll be forever greatfull for!

A lot of pre championship talk in some quarters has pointed to there being almost 3 tiers of senior hurling with Bray being a tier ahead of the chasing pack of Glenealy, St Pats and Carnew with Eire Og, Kiltegan and Avondale slightly behind. This to us seems disingenuous to many sides despite Bray being full value for the title last year. Do you think today’s win may well put that talk to bed and how do you perceive the current state of play with each club in terms of their ambitions to winning the championship?

Everybody is out for the same thing. To win a championship! If you’re only there to fill numbers you’re only codding yourself! I don’t believe in that tiered craic! You have to go into every game with the same mindset that you’re playing a strong side because if you don’t you will be caught out! That is how a lot of teams slip up!

The Pandemic has thrown things into dissaray in terms of leagues being wiped but it possibly has given players more structure knowing exactly when games will be etc. Do you think the new structures in some championships are better for the players and knowing for sure when games will be held?

The lack of leagues has literally every team going into championship blind to what way other teams are playing. Its also hard for new managers coming in to see his own players properly in a game! To be honest its nice, its something different. I know change isn’t always the best option but in this case I don’t mind it. Just can be hard obviously trying to balance football in with it as well but again its part and parcel of doing both sports so can’t complain! I think during the lockdown nobody would have cared what way the structure would be, they just wanted to be able to play because it was looking like there wouldn’t be any championship for a certain time.

As an inter county player and a star in both codes you would be a player who would be almost a full time GAA player, not to mention that you are now an even busier man as you have dipped your toes into the managerial waters by taking charge of the Glenealy Camogie Team. Would you like to see the GAA structure a sporting year where hurling and football is played off at a certain time/half of the year so there’s no overlap and would a condensement of the playing year of some sort by combining inter county leagues into the championships and also to plan them in line with the club games to enables amateur players to have the downtime an amateur player should have?

Yes definitely! I honestly dread the month of April every year myself! The club understandably want ya back playing early league games and at the same time the county team may want ya for a fitness test the following morning or a practise game. Its basically a month of keeping 3 different managers happy. It can be tough haha. I do think we should be playing maybe one game of football and hurling each in the month of April, 2 weeks with one club and then 2 weeks with the other and then back to county duties after playing 2 hard championship games which should benefit us!
It’s getting harder i must say each year. I don’t know how some players did it into their late 30’s. Its hard on the body and then just as much on the mind as ya don’t get much downtime to relax and get away fromnthe sport. But again ya can’t complain as there are plenty of other players in your county or young kids that would love to be in the same position as your in so that’s what I do try think about when I’m feeling pissed off about it all. Your career goes by very fast..
The GPA are trying to sort it out that we get more down time in the future. But i don’t know wether we will or not as each team is getting more and more demanding each year!

If you were to be honest how many days a week would you be training, playing or in the gym for planned GAA activity and how many of the 365 days in the year would you say you would be doing a GAA activity that was expected of you by management?

Jesus id say if im lucky, there would be 2 days off in the week! That might not always happen. Id say I’m at a field every day of the week in some shape or form. Wether its championship week for hurling and we still have to show our faces at football training of its on a different night, which is fair enough, it should be done. Some weeks if its non championship week for both you could be doing 2 nights with football and 2 or 3 with hurling. Ya try to do the gym work as well but sometimes when your training that much a day off is more beneficial sometimes. I love the gym work though, Its a change from being on a pitch for once. Especially in the winters months. I must say the county set up this year was great. You’re giving a schedule and you have to work around it so its a lot easier to plan other things outside of sport in. I’m lucky I’ve been in college the last 3 years so I’m definitely not physically exerted during the day haha! But on the same thing you train so much at night and the weekends its hard to find part time work that fits in with your college schedule and inter County schedule! Again no complaints though. I’m a lucky lad to be able to play for my county and both clubs that I grew up watching! I’d say 280 days! 

Will Glenealy field a football team in the next few years?

In my opinion I honestly hope not! It’s just I grew up wanting to win senior hurling championships with Glenealy and Win Senior Football with Rathnew. I didnt grow up watching glenealy play football so I dont have the love for that. My mother is an O’Gorman from Glenealy and my Father is a Kavangh from Rathnew. Im from Glenealy, but I have strong Rathnew blood in me, so I love the fact I get to represent both clubs and won a few championships with both, and i’d love to keep representing both clubs for the rest of my career!

Wicklow Senior Hurling Championship Top Scorers Table 2020