By Niall Gartland
FORMER Cavan player Pat Faulkner assures that his son Padraig won’t be getting carried away with himself after winning a prestigious All-Star award on the back of a fantastic campaign with his county.
Padraig Faulkner, a versatile full-back was one of three Cavan players to pick up an All-Star, along with Lacken clubmen Raymond and Thomas Galligan, and they were second in the overall pecking order behind Dublin, who won an outstanding nine awards.
Padraig recognised himself that it’s a major honour (“I kind of had it in my head that if I hadn’t heard by Thursday evening then I definitely haven’t got it. So it just came as a massive shock”), but Pat, who won eight Senior Championship medals with Kingscourt Stars between 1980 and 1993, says his son’s relaxed attitude has been one of his defining characteristics from an early age.
“When he’d go out the door to matches, in his mind he’d think ‘we’re going to win today’ when I don’t necessarily think that’ll be the case.
“He’s very relaxed, he could be going to a game in Croke Park and you’d think he was going down to our own pitch to play a game.
“I sometimes tell a story about him I was over an u-12 team years ago and we were going to play a final and we were driving through Bailieborough. He was in the back of the car and he said ‘daddy is this a challenge match we’re going to?’ I was over the team and I said ‘no, it’s a county final!’ That’s how relaxed he was.”
It’s been some turnaround in fortunes for Padraig, who lost the Cavan Senior Championship final in a replay defeat to Crosserlough last year before ending his season with an Ulster Championship medal and All-Star award. He recently picked up a Gaelic Life Club All-Star too.
“It’s great for him as an individual, and the All-Star was still a surprise as you never know what way it’s going to turn out. He had a good year and was consistent in all the games. We weren’t getting our hopes up in the house, and to be honest winning Ulster was better than any All-Star.
“Things worked out great though. At the start of the year you’d never have dreamt of it. Cavan were relegated to Division Three but they didn’t have their full squad playing.
“Mickey (Graham) found his best team as the games went on, they got momentum.
“People thought the Monaghan game was over at half time, but they’re a united bunch of players who are friendly with each other off the pitch. Mickey seems to have gelled them together.”
Surprisingly, Faulkner also says that he was fairly relaxed when he watched the games from the couch last year (like father, like son then).
“In normal circumstances, myself, my wife Jackie, daughter Grainne and my sister would go to all the games – all the McKenna Cup matches, league matches, a car-load of us, so it was a bit of a change.
“We’d actually be fairly easy going though and wouldn’t get over-excited. You enjoyed the games and at least you were able to watch them on the television.”