FAI CLUB OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEE 2018
THE LIAM LYNCH INTERVIEW
"It's A Town Thing" managed to grab a few words with Ballinalsoe Town AFC's very own goal machine Liam Lynch who is well on the road to recovery following his injury last season........
Q- Your recovery seems to be going well and hopefully you will be kicking ball again. Can you tell us the exact nature of the injury you suffered?
LL- During a league game with Skyvalley at the end of last season I suffered a rupture to my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) on my right knee.
Q- You seem to have been flying before the injury, how frustrating was it for you as a player to be sidelined as the season petered out for 'The Town'.
LL- It was extremely frustrating for me as it was coming to the business end of the season
and we where in the running for 4 competitions especially and also the week before we had
just booked our place in the Connaught cup final by beating mervue on penalties, for me that
was the hardest part of my injury being told I wouldn't be playing again for 9-10 months, that
was so hard to take and not to be able to help the lads push for trophies was devastating.
Definitely the lowest point of my sporting career to date.
Q- When do you hope to be kicking a ball competitively again?
LL- So I had my surgery on the 31st of May, so that means I am now 4 months into my rehab
and it usually takes between 9-12 months to get back playing fully, but my rehab has been going
very good and I feel I hopefully will be back kicking ball by late December early January- fingers
Q- You have played a lot of football can you tell us your football CV to date?
LL- Well I have been a Ballinasloe town man through and through all my life, but I did
venture a few times to try make a name for myself, I signed a semi professional contract
with Longford Town in 2010 where I played for one season and had an amazing time but
I felt like I always had to come back to Ballinasloe. In 2013 I emigrated and moved to
Toronto, in Toronto I signed for an Irish club called Toronto Celtic where my good friend
and former Ballinasloe man Robbie Brooks is heavily involved. In 3 seasons with Toronto
Celtic we achieved 2 league titles and one cup and in our first 2 seasons we actually went
undefeated for both seasons which was pretty impressive considering we played the guts
of 40-50 games. In my younger days I also played for Athlone Town for a couple of games.
Q- You also have a few international Caps?
LL- In August 2012 I won my first Irish amateur cap vs Northern Ireland in Dungannon in
a 2-2 draw. I started the game upfront and set up the first goal. I also have 6 caps for the
Irish Universities/Colleges between 2010 and 2012, I won them in London, England in 2010
in a 4-4 draw, an excellent game in which I scored a goal. Versus the Irish Defense Forces also
in 2010 in Dublin in a 1-0 win, I got man of the match in that game and also an offer for a full
scholarship to the university of Buffalo! This was followed in 2011 v the British Air Force in Salthill
in a 3-2 defeat then once again v the Irish Defense Forces in Salthill a 3-0 win this time in which I
scored, then versus Scotland in Edinburgh in a 1-1 draw and then against Wales in the same year
2011 in Cardiff which was a 2-0 win.
Q- What other sports do you participate in and any clubs you support?
LL- I play a lot of Gaelic football, it's pretty hard to juggle between both codes but I have always
managed it over the years with the two clubs training and playing both sports. Ballinasloe GAA is
very much a big part of my life and down through the years we had seen many good days for the
club. Also I'm a big Liverpool supporter so don't judge me on that!
Q- Any ideas or thoughts on what you would like to see Ballinasloe Town AFC do this season to improve the club or to help player experiences?
LL- This season is massive for us, I feel the squad Henry has put together is the best we have had for a number of years now so first objective is winning the league again as we are not used to coming second, it's important we win the league this year, after that I think another Connaught Cup would be a massive achievement for the club to show how good we are and as one of the best teams in Connaught for the last 10 years or so now proving that is important.
Q- How did you enjoy your recent Toronto experience any highlights for you and how does it differ to Ireland?
LL- My time in Toronto was life changing it was an amazing experience and something I will always look back on with great memories. It's a different way of life over there, and there are so many opportunities in sport and in employment, I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking to emigrate. I was there for nearly 3 years and loved every minute of it, but home is always home and it's good to be back playing with the lads again.
THANX FOR THAT LIAM We wish you well in your recovery and thanks for the chat!
THE HENRY LOUGHNANE INTERVIEW
An abridged interview has been published previously in Ballinasloe Life magazine - a bi monthly publication
It’s a quiet and cold damp morning as I meet recently appointed manager of Ballinasloe Town AFC Henry Loughnane for a coffee and a chat in the welcoming foyer of long term Ballinasloe Town AFC supporter and local hotel Guillanes. As he sits down there is an almost inquisitive demeanour to his body language as I go through the pleasantries of introducing myself and a brief mention of how cold the weather is curtailed as we cut to the chase. Straight away you get the impression that he wants to deal with the matter in hand and that this will be his no nonsense style of management as the season progresses.
Q- Congratulations on your appointment to the job, what do you consider
are the qualities you bring to this position?
HL- Thank you. What I bring to this squad is a lot of experience with having
played League of Ireland for Athlone Town, Galway Utd and spent almost 10
years learning my trade with Mervue Utd in Galway who played in the
Connacht Senior League.
Q- Ballinasloe Town has been used to success over the last few years have
you set any targets for yourself? Both for the team and personal goals in relation
to the club?
HL- I am just going to try and rebuild the team after so many players left in the last
3 or 4 years, my goal is to regain the Connacht Cup and also to have a major run in
the Irish Cup, but also to try to develop new players in the club and get our Second
team make an effort to get trophies this season.
Q- You have introduced a new menu to the players as regards their diet are you handy around the kitchen yourself?
HL- Yes, a diet is very important to any athlete in sport in this day and age, eating the right foods at the right times and drinking plenty of water which is so important and your rewards will be great. Talking about in the kitchen? Ya that's where I eat all of the time!!!
Q- Back to footballing matters, the Roscommon & District Football League is always a hotly contested affair, at this very early stage who do you think will go close to trophies this season?
HL- I think, Castlerea who are the holder's will definitely be knocking on the door again, Moore Utd who are always at the business end come what may and Ballymoe who are improving all the time and are just after opening their new pitch lately all have great chances and off course ourselves. We have a lot to prove this season after coming away with nothing last term.
Q- The club is very much in a transition period with management and player comings and goings, do you hope to add to your squad as the season progresses?
HL- Yes absolutely, we have some very good players in this season already and we're hoping to sign a couple of more players in the next number of weeks.
Q- With the new offside laws and shirt pulling rules do you think it’s for the good of the game or has the game been changed too much?
HL- The new rules will always come into the game and we have to adjust to it and at the end of the day it's all about keeping your discipline.
Q- Would you have any personal observations regarding life, football or love that you can pass on to the readers!!!
HL- Yes I can, never take life for granted, work for what you want and you will receive, If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail and never wait for something to happen, go and make it happen, and finally if you love something treasure it, grasp it, and never let it go.
HENRY LOUGHNANE - A Profile
New Ballinasloe Town AFC manager Henry Loughnane is a former Ballinasloe Town and League of Ireland soccer player who played for Galway United & Athlone Town as well as Mervue United in the Connacht Senior League. He met his wife Celine, an SNA in Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe when they were 18 and have been married for some 17 years now, they have two children Mia & Harry, Mia is 15 and in junior cert in Ardscoil Mhuire and Harry is 11 and in 6th class in SCOIL UI Cheithearnaigh.
Henry has been working in ALDI in Ballinasloe for 2 years and enjoys it very much as he says “It's a great company to work for and there is great comradery between management and staff. I'm also a member of Ballinasloe Golf Club. There is nothing like a game of golf to help you to relax and unwind.”
His biggest fan and supporter since he became involved in soccer at the age of eight is his dad, Paddy! “He has travelled all over the country with me throughout my career and never missed a match unless he was under the weather. He is just gone 85 and still turns up to support me and the club whenever he is up to it.”
The 'Gaffer' is also extremely aware of what it takes to run a club the size of Ballinasloe Town and is mindful of and grateful to the many sponsors who contribute on a yearly basis judging by his insistence on trying to mention as many during the interview as possible "I would also like to give a special mention to Ambrose Cuddy solicitors for their recent sponsorship of gear" he says as the process is wrapped up, and its with this in mind that we would like to thank all of those local business's who do indeed think of us each year.
"IT'S A TOWN THING - HON THE TOWN"
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