Extra Time

Five minutes with – Down hurler Donal Hughes

Name Donal Hughes.

Age: 27

Occupation: Financial Consultant.

Teams played for: Bredagh, Down, Queen’s.

Game you most enjoyed playing in?
Christy Ring final in 2013.

Game you least enjoyed playing in?
All-Ireland Junior Hurling semi-final in 2013 – a game we looked forward to all
winter and none of us performed, the weather wasn’t overly enjoyable either.

What’s the worst pitch you’ve ever played on?
I played an underage hurling final in Annesborough and it had no lines drawn out, I think it’s improved now though.

Toughest training session you’ve every been involved in?
Micky Wing’s pre-season sessions with Down hurlers spring to mind.

What’s your preferred brand of gear?
Adidas boots, O’Neill’s training gear, I’m not known for being fussy over sticks.

Most inspirational individual you’ve ever met?
In a GAA setting, Paul Branniff – led by example and had the complete respect of all players.

Where do you like to go out to celebrate?
The Parador.

What do you like to do when you are not training/playing? Socialising with friends, travelling, watching sports.

Which character in any film/tv show are you most like?
Paul Sheehan came out of ‘Venom’ saying I was the spit of Tom Hardy – I’ll take that.

Which team mates (From any club/county) are the first you’d invite on a night out?
Ryan ‘Fridge’ Curran – knows how to party.

Which team mate is the worst dancer?
Michael Woods, he won the club’s Strictly Come Dancing and it went to his head.

Which team mate is the loudest in the changing room?
Paddy Byrne, isn’t playing any more but still deserves this one.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen happen in training/during a match?
An (unnamed) old football manager was organising a pre-season friendly and had been speaking to two managers from different clubs thinking it was the same person. So both teams turned up to play us at Jordanstown on a cold Monday night and we played half an hour against both, he maintained he meant to organise a mini-blitz.

What’s the worst excuse you’ve heard to get out of training and who did it come from?
Kealan Devlin, claimed to be stuck in work but one of the lads noticed his Snapchat location placed him elsewhere, it also happened to be Valentine’s day…

Biggest ego?
See answer for worst dancer.

Worst/best person to sit next to on the team bus?
Michael Turley was best with Down hurlers, always had a good American Football documentary loaded up on his iPad.

Worst/best person to share a room with onaway days?
Best and worst would be Alan Davidson, never a dull moment but you wouldn’t get much sleep.

Who has the best diet, and who has the worst, and what do they consist of?
Best – Owen Costello, not necessarily worst but strangest would be Conor Francis – his Christmas dinner consists of Turkey, sweetcorn, rice and gravy.

Toughest opponent you have played against?
I always ended up being marked by Gerard McGovern at Down football training and it was never easy.

Best or worst quote you have heard from a team mate/opponent/manager?
Our old football manager Eunan Conway came out with some crackers, not sure if any are fit for print though.

Best manager you have played for?
I’ve played under a lot of good managers, hard to pick one.

What frustrates you most about the GAA?
The constant rule changing (particularly in football) and the lack of participation in hurling in large parts of Ulster.

What is the best thing about being part of the GAA?
Playing along side the lads you’ve grown up with.