Friday 17 January 2020

Where are they now?

Tadhg Fennin
Tadhg Fennin

Tadhg Fennin (Former Kildare footballer)

During Tadhg Fennin's inter-county career he played under four different managers. His Kildare years started under Mick O'Dwyer and finished with Kieran McGeeney but his love for football began when he was a child.

Fennin is the only boy in his family and was regularly brought to football games, both club and county. He played with Castlemitchells and at under 16 level got the call-up to play for Kildare. From there he progressed to the county minor and under 21 teams before eventually graduating to the senior squad.

His debut came in 1999 against Down in a league game in Newry. For Fennin, getting to work closely with a legendary figure like O'Dwyer was an honour.

A year later, Kildare won the Leinster title and back then Fennin thought that Kildare would be winning provincial titles on a regular basis. In 2002, Pádraig Nolan took over from O'Dwyer and it was during his tenure that Fennin played his best football. But as the years passed the level of commitment required to play at inter-county level increased.

"When I started the strength and conditioning and weights wouldn't have been that big," says Fennin.

"That changed pretty quickly and two and three nights a week training were no longer enough. It became five and six nights a week with players training on their own and with the team."

When Nolan vacated the manager's role, Fennin played under John Crofton and then McGeeney. But after just one year with the Armagh manager he decided to call time on his inter-county career.

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"I wasn't really playing that well and there were guys coming in from the under 21 team that had reached an All-Ireland final who were very good. I felt that there was a new wave of players coming through. The appetite wasn't really there to begin another long journey."

Fennin still plays junior club football with Castlemitchells and works as a coach with the Leinster Council.

The Kildare county final is on today and he fancies Moorefield to beat Sarsfields. Jason Ryan is the new manager of the county team and Fennin feels that the former Wexford manager will do well in the job.

"He seems to be a very likeable guy who is not afraid to try new things and have new ideas. He comes across as an intelligent guy and most of the players I've spoken to said that last year he was very good."

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