Friday 18 January 2019

Stars opt for different paths from busy road

Moran straight back to coalface while Silke heads for US, writes Donnchadh Boyle

Sean Moran. Photo: Sportsfile
Sean Moran. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

There's is no right answer to the conundrum faced by Liam Silke and Sean Moran.

Theirs are broadly similar stories where for a few seasons now long club journeys have been followed by a near immediate return to county action.

Liam Silke. Photo: Sportsfile
Liam Silke. Photo: Sportsfile

And after they helped steer Corofin and Cuala to respective club success earlier this year, they had to make a difficult decision.

Stick with your sport and try and keep the momentum going or twist and try something new.

The two men have taken different paths.

Moran is going back in with the Dublin hurlers. Back-to-back All-Ireland successes mean he has been on the go pretty much non-stop for more than two years.

In 2017, there were just six weeks between their breakthrough All-Ireland win and their first round of the Dublin championship.

This year was much more taxing. After their replay with Limerick champions Na Piarsaigh and the restructuring in Dublin, Cuala had just a fortnight before they were in championship action again.

Moran acknowledges there is a mental toll to this sort of treadmill but opted to go again with Pat Gilroy on the basis that an inter-county career is short.

"It's a tough turnaround," Moran reflected. "And it's tougher mentally than it is physically. Physically you can get through it. But once you get right mentally, once you say to yourself, 'I want to be here and I want to add to this set-up, I want to bring on Dublin hurling.' Once you're in that frame of mind, there's no issue really.

"You get a short chance in life to win things with your club and your county and the window was probably… there are more players coming in at a younger age. Your window is narrowing as time goes on. So you really need to make the most of it while you can."

Silke's club year ended on St Patrick's Day with a second All-Ireland title - a third overall for Corofin - and he has plenty of miles on the clock.

Five Galway titles in a row were converted into three Connacht titles, with each of those provincial successes meaning that they were active until at least February with the club. And that's before county U-21 or senior action is added in.


Silke is also studying a post-grad in medicine, meaning that even his time away from the GAA is not his own.

With that in mind, he made the call to go to Boston before Christmas. It's a decision, he admits, that has been made more difficult by Galway's excellent league campaign.

"It is kind of hard. It's kind of based on I've gone back to college this year. I'm doing a post-grad in medicine.

"This is the only summer where I have the full three months off. It's kind of my last chance to go away to America so I just want to take that opportunity and I've had a long enough five years with Corofin and Galway. I haven't really had a break.

"I had my mind made up coming up to Christmas and that so I had the decision made. It's harder now seeing how well they have done. You don't know how far they are going to go this year, so definitely I had my mind made up and I wasn't going to change it. It's not as easy seeing as they are doing so well. It's just a risk I have to take I suppose."

Silke's decision was further complicated by the fact that his father Brian is a selector with Kevin Walsh's Galway.

"I would have spoke to my Da first before I spoke to Kevin. From a father's point of view he obviously thinks that it's something I should do too. As a selector he would prefer if I stayed in with the Galway panel obviously.

"But look, he is concerned more about how I feel and my happiness as a father more than a selector.

"He was very understanding about the whole thing."

And he's hoping to return from the trip with a renewed sense of enthusiasm in the way Dublin's Paul Mannion did after his stint in China with his studies.

"I just feel like I need a break more mentally rather than physically so hopefully I will come back and be more eager to get back into the swing of things."

Moran and Silke reflect a conundrum that many find themselves in. There's no right answer, just a choice that has to be made.

Irish Independent

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