Fitzgibbon Cup's 'hardest working team'
Published: January 18th 2019
Our senior hurlers are back in Fitzgibbon Cup action, starting this weekend. In advance of the tournament, we grabbed a few minutes with team co-captain and Trinity hurling stalwart Fionn O Riain Broin.
This is your third consecutive year in Fitzgibbon. Can you give a brief account of the last two?
We have made massive progress during our first two years playing Fitzgibbon Cup. In many regards it’s much more than your usual step up from a B competition to an A competition - you’re competing against teams full of inter-county hurlers. In 2017, our first year in the competition, we suffered losses against Limerick IT, Waterford IT and DCU, three teams with their own aspirations of winning the Fitzgibbon. It was a real learning curve for both the players and management.
Last year we made huge improvements and were far more competitive. We put it up to a strong NUIG team before narrowly losing to Mary I and Carlow IT in our last two group games.
What are your hopes for the Fitzgibbon 2019 campaign?
We hope to build on the momentum gained over our past two campaigns and our goal is to reach the knock-out stages for the first time. We have been pitted against a number of strong sides in Garda College, Carlow IT and Limerick IT, three teams we have experience of playing before. After a promising League campaign we are looking to kick on this year.
Do you think Trinity have managed to close the gap between us and some of the more traditionally strong college teams?
We’re very lucky to have a top-class management team with Shane O’Brien, Eoin O’Leary, Paschal Conbhoy, Shane Walshe and Manus Malone, who provide us with excellent training structures to improve week-in week-out. Conor Laverty has also come on board this year as a strength and conditioning coach. These structures have allowed us to improve massively as a group of hurlers over the past number of years, and we really feel we have reached a level now where we can have realistic ambitions of success in the competition, as shown by our two wins in the Division One League against UCD and Maynooth.
Tell me about this year’s Fitzgibbon Cup panel.
This group of players are very skilled hurlers and have a fantastic attitude. They give their all for the club every time they step out onto the pitch. We are well-organised and would pride ourselves on being the hardest working team in the competition.
Does being captain bring an extra significance to this competition for you?
It's always an honour captaining any team and myself and Eoghan MacNamara have been incredibly lucky to captain this team for the past two years. You couldn’t ask for a better bunch of lads. It would mean a lot to us, the team and the club to finish our four years in Trinity on a high and reach the knock-out stages of the competition.
Now that you’re in your final year, will you be sorry to leave Trinity hurling behind?
Just about made it to final year at last! Trinity hurling has been a major part of my life at college and I feel very privileged to have been involved with the club during that time. A lot of work has gone into getting the club to the level it is at today and it’s been great to be part of a group who have continued that growth and success. It will be a strange feeling leaving that after the year is over but I've loved the experience and will hopefully be able to give back to the club in some form in the years ahead.
Trinity’s Fitzgibbon Cup 2019 fixtures as follows:
- Sun Jan 20 – Trinity v Garda College, Borrisoleigh, 2pm
- Thurs Jan 24 – Trinity v IT Carlow, Santry, 7pm
- Wed Jan 30/Thurs Jan 31 – Trinity v LIT, LIT, time tbc