Tuesday 12 December 2017

Where are they now?

Kieran Quinn
Kieran Quinn

Kieran Quinn (Former Sligo footballer)

Most inter-county footballers follow a similar career path: they make their underage county team and eventually graduate to the senior squad. However, former Sligo footballer Kieran Quinn took a more scenic route to the top. Although he played football in primary school, he took a break once he went to secondary school at Clongowes in Kildare and didn't pick up the sport again until he was 19.

"I spent a year in Australia after my Leaving Cert and got involved with a football club out there," explains Quinn.

"I got the buzz again through that. I came back and played a bit with the club then I went to college in Trinity and played Sigerson Cup there and that alerted people in Sligo to me and I got called in to the under 21s and within six months I was called into the senior panel. It all happened very fast."

Getting back into football at such a high level didn't faze Quinn; he was excited and exhilarated by it. The intense training regimes were new to him, even playing again was new and he thrived in the set-up.

He made his senior debut in 2000 as a sub when Sligo were hammered by Galway in Markievicz Park. His first full season came in 2001 and that was a much more positive experience.

"We beat Kildare in the third round of the qualifiers; it was our first experience in Croke Park in 26 years. We got drawn against Dublin for the next round and lost but it was a very exciting time," he says. "That victory against Kildare still rates as one of my best days in the jersey."

Sligo won a Connacht title in 2007, beating Galway by a point in the final. The following year Quinn retired and focused on his professional career.

He is a pianist so Gaelic football isn't an ideal hobby to have; he's often been out of work as a result of injured fingers. He runs a music school in Strandhill and is in a band called Anything Goes.

Sligo play Derry today in the All-Ireland qualifiers and Quinn is confident that his former team will get a result.

"They won a few challenge matches in recent weeks and confidence is coming back. Derry isn't an easy draw but at least they have a chance to redeem themselves and show the country and Sligo public that there is a bit more to them."

Quinn finished playing with his club Coolera/Strandhill in 2011. However, he is only 33 so hasn't ruled out making a return.

Irish Independent

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