My GAA Life

My GAA Life – Derry’s Gavin Donaghy

Name? Gavin Donaghy.

Which teams did you represent?

Claudy, Queen’s, Derry and now Western Shamrocks in Perth.

What is your current involvement with the GAA?

I am still playing with our men’s team but have stepped down from our Executive Committee where I was chairman the last few years. I am still refereeing.

What was your greatest moment in the GAA?

Winning the Sigerson with Queen’s, McLarnon with St Columb’s or the Intermediate Championship with Claudy. All great moments in different ways.

What was the most surprising moment in your career?

Getting called into the Derry senior set-up in my fresher year. That team was full of legends then – Bradley, Muldoon, Doherty, Lockhart, Gilligan, McCloy, McFlynn, McBride, McGuckin, etc.

Who was the best player you ever played with?

I’d probably go with anyone out of Bradley, Muldoon, Doherty or Gilligan.

What was the best score you ever saw in a game you were involved in?

It was against CIT in the 2007 Sigerson semi-final at the Dub. Bryan Sheehan pinging balls off the ground from stupid distances and angles. ‘The Dub’ wasn’t known for its sheltered conditions either.

Which manager made the biggest impact on you and why?

The biggest impact would probably have come during my earlier years where we had ‘Baker’ Bradley at the club and Paddy Crozier with the county minors. I worked with both at county senior as well and they had a lot to do with my development in the early days along with one of our own clubmen, Vincent McCloskey.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received about playing?

Take your chances. This was more to do with ‘commitment and discipline’ than shooting for scores. If you had a sniff of a chance, then do what you can to take it as your playing days can finish as quickly as they started. I can’t say I followed the advice 100 percent but it was good advice all the same.

What was the best thing about playing in your era?

My era will probably be considered to be the start of ‘puke football’ but the best thing was man v man games with no sweepers etc, which is becoming more uncommon. Fast play and open space was great.

What was the worst thing about playing your era?

Nothing springs to mind other than big jerseys. I wouldn’t be the biggest and struggled to fill some of them. I swear any time I see an old photo either the jersey in it has gotten bigger or I’ve gotten smaller.

When did you know it was time to call it quits?

I haven’t quit yet though it mightn’t be far away with current work and family commitments. I have full intentions on playing this year anyway and take it as it comes.

What interesting or funny story may readers not know about you or one of your former teammates?

A captain was giving a bit of a half-time motivational talk in what was a huge game. Another player butts in with a backhanded compliment along the lines of the team being great as everyone knew their gameplan/role and stuck to it, including the captain who despite being sh*t, sticks to his station. (something along those lines anyway.) I was a bit of a buzz killer right there and totally knocked the captain off his train of thought. We still won thankfully so can laugh about it now.

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