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Five minutes with Down’s Niall Donnelly

Name: Niall Donnelly
Age: 25
Occupation: Teacher


Teams played for:

Tullylish, St Colmans and Down.

If you were throwing a party and you could invite anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you ask around?

David Beckham, Ali and Tiger Woods

Where do you like to go out to celebrate after a big victory?

Alfies after a win with Tullylish. Brubakers seemed to be the usual after the championship games.

If you weren’t playing GAA what would you be at?

Playing off a Handicap of 4 instead of 24.

What’s the worst pitch you’ve ever played on?

Cottage park Banbridge, not too many teams enjoy a game there!

Which character in any film are you most like?

The man that done the gates in St Mary’s used to call me Ben Affleck so I’ll go for Batman.

Any odd items in your kit bag?

Apart from the odd programme or two nothing exciting.

What’s your preferred brand of gear?


Who’s the biggest joker in the teams you play for?

Brian Thompson always has something smart to say and Davy Boom has never walked past me without saying or doing something unnecessary.

Which team mate has the best looking other half?

Myself, of course.

Who spends most time in front of the mirror in the dressing room?

Ryan Johnston pushed close by Jerome, be some fights over the mirror each morning in that house.

Who’s the best/worst person to share a room with on away trips?

Worst would have to be Barry O’Hagan, he doesn’t snore but he does this weird thing where he rubs his nose with his hand in his sleep, makes a strange noise.

Who’s the best/worst person to sit beside on the team bus?

Always sit beside Niall McParland. Worst would probably be Thomas Burns.

Who has the best and who has the worst diet on the team, and what does it include?

Best diet would be John McAreavey, he’s getting on a bit now and needs to look after himself.
Worst has to be Seamus McDermott, the nickname Big Tasty speaks for itself.

Toughest opponent you have faced?

Really enjoyed putting myself against the likes of Kieran Hughes and Colm Cavanagh this year but Shane Walsh from Galway was exceptional in the Hogan Final in 2011.

Best or worst quote you’ve heard, either from a manager, player, opponent?

Chris Magee came out with a few this year, ‘Lads this is a home game for us’ when we were away to Saul and: ‘Local derby this Friday’ when playing a team 30 miles from us are two that stand out.

Best manager you’ve ever played under?

Declan Mussen and Cathal Murray in St Colman’s were excellent but I really enjoyed playing for Paddy Tally during my time in St Mary’s.

Best ever performance?

U14 league game against Drumgath, scored 4-2 from midfield. The MacRory final in 2011 was a game I really enjoyed as well.

One to forget?

Tullylish v Shamrocks in the relegation playoff, it was the day after a friends 18th and I got hooked before half time.

When you were playing in the back garden, who did you pretend to be?

Benny Coulter and Dan Gordon, it was brilliant to then get a chance to play with them.



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