Friday 24 February 2017

Inside back: Where are they now?

Shea Fahy Former Cork footballer

He is remembered for being part of the Cork football team that did the double with the hurlers in 1990, but six years prior to that Shea Fahy had already made history when he lined out for Ireland in the first international rules series.

"That series was probably the toughest one to date but when I look back now I just smile and realise that it was just all part of the game," recalls Fahy.

"We played a warm-up game in Pearse Stadium to get everyone used to the rules. At one stage they were thinking of calling it off because the weather was so bad and there were lads fighting up and down the pitch. That first game kind of set the tone for the series. There was a rivalry straight away, both teams were determined to win because it was the first series. Even though we lost, we really battled."

As it was a new game for everyone involved, Fahy and Co had to adapt quickly. For him it was the marking and fitness that caused the biggest concerns. The Australians were professional athletes and as a result the Irish just couldn't keep up. At the time Fahy was playing football for Kildare but soon afterwards he moved to Cork. While there, he won six Munster championships and back-to-back All-Ireland titles in 1989 and 1990.

"I had a great football career but for me, winning the double in 1990 was very special for a number of reasons. Firstly, the hurlers had won a few weeks prior to that so we really wanted to do it; secondly, we beat Meath in the final and they had beaten us two years before so we wanted vengeance and also, we really wanted it bad."

Nowadays, Fahy works with Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland. He has been with the Cork-based company for ten years and prior to that he worked in the defence forces.

He is still involved in football, coaching with Erin's Own. Today Fahy will be at the Cork county final watching his old club Nemo Rangers battle it out with city rivals St Finbarr's.

"It's a big challenge for both teams because they know each other so well but I think Nemo will win. They are playing a good brand of football at the moment."

Sunday Independent

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