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'He uses empty Pringles tubes as foam rollers. Smell his breath and it will be sour cream and onion'

After clinching their fifth league title in six years, Chris Shields opens up about his team-mates at Oriel Park.

DUNDALK CLINCHED THEIR fifth Premier Division title in six years on Monday night, taking the club’s overall total to 14, just three behind Shamrock Rovers.

With an FAI Cup semi-final against Sligo Rovers on Sunday and a historic domestic treble now in their sights, we spoke to midfielder Chris Shields for the no-holds-barred lowdown on the team that has made it all happen.

Oh, and club captain Brian Gartland made sure to have his say on Shields, too.

Gary Rogers (goalkeeper)

gary-rogers-celebrates-his-sides-second-goal Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Ageing like a fine wine, but who one who also loves hoofing the ball. You can tell by how he kicks it he comes from a GAA background. I beg him sometimes to not hoof it because we have to push up and do more running then. But he seems to be better every year, and that’s because he has a little robot that cuts his grass at home! He would cry poverty in the dressing room but R2D2 is out doing his gardening.

Sean Gannon (right back)

sean-gannon-celebrates-scoring-the-first-goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

It kills me to say it but now that he’s gone level with Owen Heary’s record of league titles (7) he’ll probably be the best ever. But it wouldn’t suit him to go around bragging about it. He’d know better than that. Can take a slagging but cross the line and he’ll cut you down with one line.

Brian Gartland (club captain, centre back)

brian-gartland-celebrates-winning-the-league Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

A leader. If standards are slipping he is the man who can sort things out in the dressing room without it needing to go anywhere near the manager. Had a tough season seeing as we have about 40 centre backs at the club, but at least when he retires he can become a full-time socialite. Man knows every pub owner in Dublin and has the keys to the city.

Sean Hoare (centre back)

sean-hoare-celebrates-after-the-game Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

I don’t think he realises referees are human and actually make mistakes. We all get annoyed by things on a pitch but he turns into a big ginger Hulk with referees if they make a mistake with him. I think he gets his hair cut down at Baldonnell airbase with that zero cut on the sides of his head.

Jordan Flores (midfielder)

jordan-flores Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Not bad for an Englishman. He’s a great fella around the place, he’s had a tough season with injury and it’s been hard for him but, if it’s any consolation, he has managed to make me excited for a trip to Wigan after he told me how a pie there is like a kebab in a bap, and flavour is dealer’s choice. I can’t wait to have a taste of that.

Michael Duffy (winger)

michael-duffy-celebrates-scoring-his-sides-third-goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Happiest man in the world once you leave him alone to eat his microwavable cottage pies and let him play Fifa all day at home. You won’t hear one thing out of him for months but when there is a team night out or trip planned he will be the one organising the flights and hotels. Our little travel agent.

John Mountney (winger)

john-mountney Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

I’ve known him for years. Loves his clothes, he was the man who introduced skinny jeans to Boohola in Mayo where he’s from. Nobody had ever heard of them until John and when he goes back to the pub his family own the locals are all there in their Ric Flairs and Timberlands, and he still gets grief serving them.

Patrick Hoban (striker)

pat-hoban-during-the-warm-up Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

‘Ballllllls in the box, balllllllls in the box.’ It could be the loudest place in the world and that’s all our wingers will hear from him in that voice of his. Some people have rose tinted glasses, he has pure black tinted glasses. Always complaining about something.

Jamie McGrath (winger/midfielder)

jamie-mcgrath-celebrates-after-the-game Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Mr Bogtoe! We found out his middle name is Terence so that was a nickname for a while until last season. He missed a chance through on goal against Cork, Stephen [Kenny] asked him what he was doing and he just looked up and said he ‘bogtoed it’. I had to stop myself from laughing. Vinny [Perth] still calls him Bogtoe in team talks now. Great fella, though.

Patrick McEleney (midfielder)

michael-duffy-patrick-mceleney-and-dean-jarvis-celebrate-with-the-fai-cup-after-the-game Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

My god the man loves a foot roll. It can wreck my head playing beside him, just shoot! One of these days he will actually just shoot. I stayed in touch with him when he went to England, it never felt like it was a long term thing there and I’m glad he came back. Even if he is Mickey Duffy’s big brother.

Georgie Kelly (striker)

georgie-kelly-celebrates-winning-the-league Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

I can’t believe this fella survived so many years in UCD, one of the best colleges in the country. No cop on! He’s our very own Daniel O’Donnell with that smooth Donegal accent but he is the clumsiest fucker ever. He stands all over you in training, knocks things over. He even left the boot of his car wide open outside while he had a nap in the house.

Dane Massey (left back)

dane-massey-celebrates-scoring-their-first-goal Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

His catchphrase is ‘Noooooo wayyyyyyy.’ The most gullible man in football. A lovely fella but falls for anything. A couple years ago we told him he lost out to Ian Bermingham for left back in the PFAI team by one vote. ‘Noooooo wayyyyyy.’ We burst out laughing and told him ‘how would we know?’

Stephen Folan (centre back)

stephen-folan-after-the-game Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Ah, Curtis from Love Island. John Mountney is in a house with him and walked by his room one night and heard his girlfriend call him Curtis from Love Island. So that’s stuck. Trains every day and never sacks it off, even though he won’t always be involved. Great guy is Curtis.

Sean Murray (midfielder)

sean-murray Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

A great fella. His career took off when he played for Watford in the Championship and I think he’ll be able to get a few hours working in Santa’s Grotto in the off season with those ears, though.

Cameron Dummigan (defender)

cameron-dummigan-celebrates-scoring-their-fourth-goal Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

The worst accent in Ireland. He’s from Lurgan and all his Os come out as As. We were in Waterford and he’s on the floor telling us to let the bench know his ‘calf was about to paaaap’.

Robbie Benson (midfielder)

robbie-benson-celebrates-scoring-their-fifth-goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The biggest nerd I’ve ever met and he has the hairiest back. He shaved it there before the Rovers game. Was probably able to do it himself with those long arms. Evolution left him behind the way he can drag those knuckles. But he is so smart. You could be playing a simple game and he will come over with equations and formulas to try and make it better.

Aaron McCarey (goalkeeper)

patrick-mceleney-celebrates-after-the-game-with-goalkeeper-aaron-mccarey Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

I’d say he’s one of the best looking lads we have. Been tough for him seeing as Gary [Rogers] has been so consistent every week but at least he has his looks.

Daniel Cleary (centre back)

daniel-cleary-after-the-game Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Our own Ivan Drago. What a man. He definitely won’t be a manager anyway. He coaches a team that was set up in the area where he’s from and he hasn’t come in once to tell us they’ve won a game. I think they lost their last one to Buttercrust FC or someone.

Daniel Kelly (winger)

daniel-kelly-celebrates-scoring-the-first-goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Mr Pringle. He uses all the empty Pringles tubes he goes through after every game as foam rollers. Smell his breath and it will be constantly sour cream and onion.

Lido Lotefa (striker)

lido-lotefa Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

He has only come into the first team dressing room this season and is a quiet lad. I read his story about growing up so it shows he has serious perseverance and character.

Dylan Hand (defender)

dundalk-v-drogheda-united-jim-malone-cup

I think Dylan and Lido share a voice box. Another young lad still finding his way. I think he probably thinks he has to prove himself and play a bit more before he talks. Good player.

Ross Treacy (goalkeeper)

sean-gannon-and-ross-treacy-arrive Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Fair play to him, he’s able to stretch the word mate into a word with sven syllables. ‘Alright maaaaaaatttteeeee’.

Dean Jarvis (defender)

dean-jarvis-with-daire-oconnor Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

One of the Derry boys. He wouldn’t say much but he has a dark humour. We actually think he might well be an assassin in his down time.

Andy Boyle (centre back)

andy-boyle Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

He’s a man of few words but would probably knock you out if he had to. He went away to England and is back again but has never changed. He’s still the same as he ever was and has given Vinny a serious headache coming back mid-season with all the centre halves.

And finally…

Brian Gartland on Chris Shields

chris-shields-celebrates-winning-the-league Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

He tells us he’s only 28. Aaron McCarey’s twin and looks after the pennies as much as he hoovers up any left over socks. The scrawniest player ever but with his go-go gadget legs he has been incredible for us and the best in the country at his job. 

Great teammate that’s the heart of the dressing room with his humour. 

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About the author:

David Sneyd

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