In Focus – James Turley
JAMES Turley possesses an attribute that sometimes is absent in players, an eagerness to please. He admits himself that he is not the most talented player ever to kick a size five McKeever’s ball, but because he wants to win, and to help his team mates at club and county level, he puts in the hard graft to make up for his deficiencies.
This week, Turley talks about Monaghan’s disappointing 2012, his concerns about winning his place under the new management and the man who inspired him to try out for the county team.
Ronan Scott: Tell us about your debut with Monaghan?
James Turley: My league debut was against Galway in 2011, the first game of the National League which we won by five or six points. It was a good start, but we didn’t win another game till the last one against Mayo. It was a good enough year that year in Division one. We were kind of unlucky not to stay up that year. Getting beat by Armagh in the Athletic Grounds by a point, in a game that we felt that we could have won. A lot of other players came into the squad, like Christopher McGuinness. We had a lot of young players starting off. When you look at the team that started the Ulster final [in 2010], there was a lot of change.
RS: What about coming up through the grades?
JT: I was two years as a county minor and two years as a county u-21. I played MacRory Cup football for St Macartan’s for two years. That brought me on. I was county minor too. The football in the Sem is the number one sport, and when you went there you wanted to play MacRory. It was like being u-12 for Scotstown, you want to go on and play for the senior team.
RS: What was that experience of breaking onto the county team like?
JT: At the start it took a lot of getting used to. My confidence was low coming into a team with such big names. A lot of players that I would have looked up to as a young fella. The likes of Dick Clerkin, Tommy Freeman, Paul Finlay, boys like that. A few of them took me under their wing and eased me into it and once I got going there was no looking back and I got comfortable quite quickly with it. But I took a lot of knocks in the first year. I played every game in the first year, up until the Mayo game, where I came on at half time. This year I worked hard over the winter period, built myself up and worked a lot harder than I had the year before. Something I didn’t do last year was score. I am playing a wing forward position where I am dropping back, and doing nearly more defensive work than attacking. So this year I decided that I would try to score more, and I think that I racked up 1-6 in the league. I was just disappointed with how it ended.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday August 16. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here