DCU’s Sports Personality of the Year dreams of dizzying inter-county heights

John Morley

DCU Dóchas Éireann hurler Paudie Foley was named Sports Personality of the Year at the DCU Clubs and Society’s ball at the end of March.

The Wexford hurler reflected on “a good night at the ball”, saying that “It’s a great event to have appreciating all the clubs and societies that are in DCU”.

Despite his own accolade, Foley still reflects on a disappointing year for the senior team, who crashed out of the Fitzgibbon tournament in an extra time thriller against University College Cork.

“I think a lot of lads are disappointed, obviously it was my last year playing Fitz and I would have liked to have finished off with a Fitzgibbon but it just wasn’t meant to be”.

He also said that “It’s disappointing, we won the League for the first time ever and we were hoping to win the Fitzgibbon as well but we were just unlucky against UCC on the day in the semi-final”.

Foley believes he attained the accolade of Sports personality because of his involvement and commitment to DCU hurling.

“I suppose it’s my fifth year here in DCU, I’ve captained the Fitz team and I’ve done coaching with the DCU fresher’s,” he said.

“Maybe I was given it for my contribution to DCU hurling overall,” he added.

Foley applauded the talent in the DCU panel at present and attributed their first League triumph as testament to that.

“The strength and depth in the team at the moment is serious, the first twenty players are playing with their counties,” he said.

“Galway, Kilkenny, Wexford, Westmeath, nearly everyone is playing at the highest level and everyone is a leader,” he added.

Foley praised his Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald for the recent resurrection of Wexford at hurling’s top table.

“Davy is a player’s manager, he does the best thing for the players and it’s probably going to be his final year with Wexford,” he said.

“This year we’ll be hoping to get some silverware whether it’ll be a Leinster or an All-Ireland,”

“We know we can mix it with the best teams so it’s just about what happens on the day,”

“We’ll start preparations in a few weeks and see where it takes us,” he added.

Foley is hungry for provincial success, and noted that a Leinster victory would feel surreal for the team and Wexford supporters.

“Wexford haven’t won a Leinster title since 2004 so any silverware is worth playing for, for us,” he said.

“If we could win a Leinster that’d be massive for us,” he added.

Foley said Galway’s Joe Cooney was his toughest opponent in either inter-county or Fitzgibbon hurling.

“I’ve marked a lot of different players, I’ve marked big guys who are good in the air and I’ve marked small lads who are fast and nippy,” he said.

“Joseph Cooney from Galway was my toughest opponent, he’s a big man but he can move,”

“I’ve marked him a few times and it’s always been a good battle between me getting forward and trying to get on the scoreboard and him moving all around the place,”

“He’s quick and good in the air, he kind of has a bit of everything and is a good hurler,” he added.

Foley loves going back to his club and spoke of the enjoyment he gets when playing the much less competitive football championship in Wexford.

“I love going back to the club and kicking a bit of football, there’s less pressure on you,” he said.

“It’s a bit of fun, I wouldn’t be great at kicking the ball but I can catch it and move around with it,” he added.

John Morley