Galway hurling star Cathal Mannion is an All-Ireland SHC and All-Star Award winner. He also plays with his club Ahascragh/Fohenagh.
From what age was it your dream to play for Galway?
I started playing hurling when I was 6 years old and as I started playing U10 and U12, it was always something I wanted to do. I was on underage panels with Galway, which really drove me on to play with Galway at adult level.
Do you still get the same buzz today wearing the maroon and white as you did when you first made your senior debut in 2014?
Yes, I do. It is probably more of a buzz now as I’ve gotten older because I realise how lucky I am to be in this position. There’s nothing like playing in big games.
Describe winning the All-Ireland SHC title with your county in 2017?
That was definitely the best day of my career because Galway were waiting 29 years for it, and so many people never won an All-Ireland. It was a dream come true, but it makes me want to win more.
How special was it to have your brother on the team alongside you?
That made it extra special for us. We knew how much time and effort we put into trying to achieve this. We always push each other on to get better. It was also very special for our parents and family who give us so much support.
You’re also an All-Star Award winner – what did that mean to you to win such an award?
To be honest, that will be something I will be proud of when I finish, but when I am still playing, it is my aim to keep getting better.
Who was your hurling hero growing up?
Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny)
What’s the best advice you’ve got as a hurler to date?
Regardless of how you played or what you’ve achieved, your aim is to always improve. It’s the same for every sport.
How important is it to continually practice your skills as a young hurler hoping to play for Galway some day?
No one will reach the highest level in any sport without hours and hours of practice. Hurling is no different as it is such a skilful game. Even hitting the ball to someone or off the wall allows you to try new skills and the basics of hurling, which will allow you to get better.
What other sports do you like?
I played some football down through the years and more recently I like to watch and play golf in my free time.
What are your hopes and ambitions with Galway in 2023?
To be consistent in every game and get back winning some silverware. Our aim every year is to be competing for the Liam McCarthy and 2023 will be no different.