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where are they now?

Liam Tierney

(Former Longford footballer)

In Liam Tierney's 16-year career with the Longford footballers, he played in every position on the team except for goalkeeper. Although he didn't win any silverware he looks at his career as being very rewarding.

"I never found training a chore," said Tierney. "Whether it was on my own or with the team, I loved it. I always got great enjoyment out of getting the best out of myself on any given day, irrespective of who we were playing or what level it was at."

Tierney completed his Leaving Cert in 1974 and made his debut for Longford that October against Meath in the National League. He always had a great interest in what other athletes were doing; he studied their training methods and put great emphasis on his own diet and fitness.

"I was a bit ahead of my time when I was playing for Longford. I often read up on what the fitness gurus of the time were saying. I was particularly interested in soccer players and their training techniques. I often went swimming and cycling, I was very diligent when it came to training."

And his hard work paid off. He played senior football for Longford until 1990. He was also selected for the Australian Rules series in 1984, made the Leinster team and was an All-Star nominee in 1985.

"In the mid-1980s we had a very good team and manager in Longford, we were very unlucky not to beat Offaly in a replay in 1984. That match was closely contested and got a lot of notice; as a result I was lucky enough to get called up to the Irish team.

"In the first game, we played Australia in Cork. It was a very volatile encounter so it got people interested. When we played the final two games in Dublin they were packed. It was the first time I ever played in front of such a big crowd."

Tierney is a psychiatric community nurse but is due to retire in September. He still keeps fit by golfing and cycling. He works as an analyst for local radio station Shannonside, covering many of the local and inter-county football games. He will be in Portlaoise today to watch his county take on Laois.

"We have a very poor record against Laois; even in my time we suffered humiliating defeats in Laois's back yard. Longford's big problem is the midfield. They have great forwards and a very good backline. I hope Longford win but everything will have to go right on the day."

Sunday Indo Sport