Damien Quigley (Former Limerick hurler)
The secret to most players' success is often complex and hard to establish but for Damien Quigley it's simple. He worked hard.
Growing up in Caherdavin in Limerick his first sporting loves were soccer and Gaelic football. He didn't play much hurling until he was 13 but took to the game straight away and within a year he was on the county under 14 team.
However, by minor his inter-county career had stalled and he didn't feature for the Limerick team. However, enrolling in UCC got him back on the right track. He was playing Fitzgibbon Cup hurling with some of the best in the game and was exposed to a different class of training and preparation.
"It opened my eyes," explains Quigley. "I was watching what other players were doing and when you are from a small club like we were at the time your exposure to what the top teams do is limited. You don't have any learning ground really. The college was a big help in my development."
Quigley played for a couple of years with the Limerick under 21s before being brought onto the senior team. His first start in the green jersey came in 1994 in the Munster championship. It was an exciting journey. Limerick captured the Munster title and then reached the All-Ireland final against Offaly. Quigley scored 2-3 but Limerick came up short, although he won an All Star.
Two years later, he won another Munster title and coming out on top in such a competitive championship was a career highlight.
"It was a very hard-won Munster championship. We beat Cork in Cork, then we beat Clare who were the All-Ireland champions in the Gaelic Grounds by a point in a fantastic game. Then we beat Tipperary in a replay having been ten points down in the drawn match. We really earned our medals."
He retired from inter-county duty in 1999 but continued playing for his club Na Piarsaigh. He is 42 now and still lining out. They won the county final in 2011, another career highlight, and won it again this year. Quigley is an accountant by profession and is a senior manager with KBC. Today Na Piarsaigh take on Loughmore-Castleiney in the Munster senior club quarter-final and Quigley hopes to play a role.