Thursday 14 November 2019

Sligo veteran Raymond raring to go

Sligo's Keith Raymond. Photo: Sportsfile
Sligo's Keith Raymond. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Keith Raymond's still on the go. Sixteen seasons after making his debut for the Sligo hurlers, he shows no signs of slowing down.

Incredibly, he made his bow for the Yeats men when he was just 15 years old. The Calry St Joseph's man started a league semi-final clash against Tyrone in 2003 and scored two points as they progressed to the final.

Controversy raged over his age and he sat out that decider against Mayo which they lost.

Since then, with the exception of a brief stint with the county's footballers for the league of 2009, he has more or less been an ever present.

Tomorrow he'll line out for Sligo when the county face Lancashire in the Lory Meagher final. Hurling for Sligo, he couldn't be much further away from the spotlight so what is it that keeps him coming back?

labour "It's the love of the game, maybe a labour of love in a way," Raymond (30) said. "There's a fear element there too if you step away the boys might go and win something.

"It's a passion. There are tough times when you are training in the muck but the last two or three months have been heaven, out hurling in the good weather.

"The dream has been getting here (Croke Park) for us, that's why we do it. And fair play to the GAA for putting these on and it gives us as a county the chance to play here."

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Sligo saw off the Exiles when they met earlier in the competition but Raymond is taking nothing for granted.

"It was our main goal to get here. We had the league and then the championship as the goals for the year. We have part one done to get to the Lory Meagher final and part two is on Saturday and we'll try to make amends for 2015 and 2016 but we are up against a very physical and fit Lancashire."

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