Thursday 24 May 2018

Where are they now?

KEVIN CAHILL (Former Mayo footballer)

There aren't too many players who can say they were never taken off in a competitive game but former Mayo and Ballaghderreen footballer Kevin Cahill is one who can. Throughout his senior career the full-back was never substituted.

Cahill's interest in the game started when his family moved from America to Ballaghderreen when he was nine years old. He went to secondary school in the famous football nursery St Nathy's. At that time the only sport played at the school was Gaelic football so Cahill joined the team.

At underage level he never got a look-in with the county but after impressing for Sligo RTC he was called into the senior panel. He made his debut for Mayo in 1993 and held onto the No 3 jersey until he retired in 2001, winning several provincial titles along the way.

During those years Mayo achieved considerable success but for Cahill reaching the All-Ireland final in 1996 was the pinnacle of his career.

Although Mayo contested three All-Ireland finals since Cahill retired, they have not yet brought the Sam Maguire back west. Because of this they are regularly criticised and Cahill doesn't feel that it's entirely justified.

"You can look at it two ways, the negative angle that we don't win finals or the positive one that at least we are getting there. We are consistently playing at the top level and that can only be good. Every other county would love to be in an All-Ireland final. It's unfortunate we can't get over the last hurdle but it will come. I'm sure of that."

Last year Cahill finally hung up his playing boots for good but not before adding a Junior B county title to his repertoire. The club had redeveloped their pitch and Cahill wanted a chance to play on it so he gave football one last year.

"It was great to win it, Junior B isn't what it was in the past. We took it very seriously, everyone turned up to training and there was no messing."

Cahill is a partner in Nestor and Co accountancy firm in Ballaghderreen. Today he will be in Castlebar watching the Ballaghderreen senior team take on Curry in the Connacht semi-final. His father is from Curry but Cahill's loyalty won't be swayed. He feels that although Curry are a quality side they won't be a match for his former team.

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