Charlie Shanks; Wall or nothing
This week’s In Focus interviewee is Charlie Shanks the handballer from Lurgan who is living in New York and competing in the Pro Stop Tour. In this excerpt he explains the level he was at before he made the journey across the Atlantic to relocate in the Big Apple
RS: When did you make the move to America?
CS: I moved over in September 2011, I had been thinking about doing so in the Christmas before that. My fiancé was moving across. She is doing a research PhD and had to do a fellowship in the States so I got a transfer so we both could live in the States. Luckily she got to go to New York which is handy for handball, for flights back and forth.
RS: Before you left, how did you think you were progressing?
CS: In Ireland I was number two behind Paul [Brady]. I pushed him close in the All-Ireland final, but I just wasn’t making that edge to break through, it was that rub of the green that other players seemed to get, but didn’t seem to happen for me.
The first year I played him was 2010, in the Ulster final, and then I played him in the All-Ireland final a few months later. In those few months I closed some of the gap. But I was disappointed in the Ulster final in 2011. It was a weekend tournament, and he was playing poorly. I was due to play him in the final, but he cried off injured. I saw it as an opportunity to get him, but he got a walkover.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday November 23. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here