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'I miss home but I understand what an opportunity this is' - From the Glens to Broadway, Sambo Jnr's stage is set

Leaving Cushendall, aspiring actor Shane McNaughton knew he'd likely never hurl for Antrim again... He was swapping one passion for another

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Sambo to Brando: Shane McNaughton has gone from taking the field to treading the boards. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile

Sambo to Brando: Shane McNaughton has gone from taking the field to treading the boards. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Sambo to Brando: Shane McNaughton has gone from taking the field to treading the boards. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile

For the moment at least, Cushendall's 'alien of extraordinary ability' is back at home. Shane McNaughton, son of Antrim hurling great 'Sambo', has been approved for a prized Green Card on the back of his acting talent, but there's still paperwork to be done before it is all official.

In the meantime, he's in Antrim reacquainting himself with the beautiful patchwork of earth hemmed in between the mountains and the sea. It is at once the place he left behind and the place he is ever drawn back to.

A few weeks after Cushendall's 2016 All-Ireland club SHC final defeat, McNaughton packed his bags for New York in pursuit of a long-term dream. Leaving that day, he knew he'd likely never play hurling for the club or Antrim again. Essentially, he was swapping one passion for another.