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Fintona Ace Paul Martin Answers Back

Tuesday 21.04.2020
Team Talk Mag

This week Fintona defender Paul Martin answers our questions. His responses are listed below.
1. Earliest GAA memory.

I was 7 years old when I remember the 1996 All Ireland Semi Final against Tyrone & Meath.  It took me a long time to get over the defeat but Brian Dooher running around with the head bandage on is an image I’ll never forget.  They were in the wars that day.  The next day my Mother took me to the local sports shop and bought me my first pair of boots. That’s where it started for me, I was Buzzing!

2. Was your family a traditional GAA family? Explain

Not particularly, My Father always watched football and cheered for Tyrone but he never played.  I always had a good kick around with my cousins, the McWilliams brothers from the Rock when I was younger and that’s where I picked it up.  Now a days we have a good rivalry on the field against other and dont hold much back if I’m honest.

3. Sibling involvement or success?

I’ve 2 Brothers & 1 Sister, all younger but dont currently play.  I can only remember playing football with my Brother Ryan who played up to Minor Level.  Unfortunately no success together as he was too young for our Championship winning Under 16 team at the time.

4. School participation and/or success.
2 x Ulster County Vocational Schools
1 x All Ireland County Vocational Schools

I was fortunate to be part of a great 2007 Tyrone Vocational Schools team where we went on and won the All Ireland.  I played at Right Half Back.

5. Club/ County role models that you looked up to as a youth

Club wise at a young age I always looked up to Jimmy McCloughan, he was like a Father figure to me.  Kevin McGirr & Bernard Cassidy always looked out for me when I started playing Senior.  County wise, I have to go back to Minor and say Raymond Munroe.  Lets just say there was no messing about at training in them days.

6. Other sports that you played or had an interest in.

I like to play Pool as ive always had an interest in it.  I dont play competitively, just for Fun.  My Brother Carl was a 2 time World Junior Champion so unfortunately for me he’s the boss when it comes to the Pool table at my house.

7. Most difficult opponent you have faced in club football and why?

Tough question, I’ve had a few good battles in my day.  Cathal McShane I would say.  strong, accurate and intelligent.  Within my club Aaron McCarney can be quite the nuisance too.

8. Best player you have ever seen play Gaelic football

The obvious answer for me is Peter Canavan but I think David Clifford is going to be a very special player.  I look forward to see how his career pans out.

9. Are you a fan of the recent rule changes?

No, as a full back the inside mark doesn’t make my job any easier.

10. One suggestion that you think might improve the game.

I’d go back to the way it was, free flowing at it’s best.  Let the game go – that’s what the players want!

11. Are you a fan of academies/development squads? Why

Yes I am indeed, they helped me and it gives young players an insight of what is required to step up and play at County level.  It is a fantastic experience to help young players progress.

12. Your own involvement around the club.

I’ve had the pleasure of being Fintona Senior Captain for the last 2 Years.  A proud moment for me and one I’ll never forget.  I try and help out as much as I can and will continue to do so for the foreseeable.

13. How important is the GAA in your community?

The GAA is extremely important in Fintona and its great to see.  It brings families and friends closer together, gives the community something to feel part off.  We are a proud club with proud people and I look forward to the future.

14. Favourite county jersey (not Tyrone)


15. Are you a fan of penalties to decide the outcome of championship games?

No not for me, it’s hard to beat finishing a game the old fashioned way.  If that means through a replay, extra / additional time then so be it.


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