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Car crash, concussion, two speeding fines and a baby: How Jack Guiney 'messed up' his Dad's career

‘He never got his place back after that. He had to wait 13 years to get back on the team again.’

JACK GUINEY SMILES when his father, Dave, comes up in conversation.

Jack Guiney Source: James Crombie/INPHO

He’s sat in a chair surrounded by a room full of journalists at an event marking the recent renovation of the Sports Physio Ireland clinic. It’s all run of the mill stuff but interestingly discussed; Wexford, Davy, the differences between 2017 and 2018, Saturday evening’s clash with Tipperary.

11 or so minutes into the conversation, his father and uncle, Rod, are mentioned.

He’s after explaining how, in 2016, he stepped away from the Wexford panel to go traveling. He lived in San Francisco, played a bit of hurling and did some travelling around California.

“I’m glad I did it,” he adds.

“I think the level of commitment that it has gone to now, you really have to want to do it. I think going away kind of cements an attitude towards wanting to do it.

“You come back refreshed and more energised. You really want to be there when you do come back.”

And from there — Dave is your Dad, yes? Rod is your uncle? Were the commitment levels in their days much different?

“I think my Dad was a bit of an extremist,” he grins.

“He probably trained harder than I ever will. I think we are two completely different people. I’d be very laid back. I remember when I was younger he used to be very adamant about having your gear ready the night before a match — little professional attitude things.

Dave Guiney 18/7/2003 Source: INPHO

“I’d be about to go out the door and I’d be scrambling around, looking for my gear. I’d just have a more laid back attitude to preparation I suppose. Now obviously if you are ever going to achieve anything, you still have to train hard and stuff but he would have been very meticulous and professional.

“He would be in every walk of life, whereas I’d be more laid back.”

And shortly after comes a rather interesting story, as Guiney delves deeper into his father’s time in the Wexford jersey.

“He was on the team in 1993 and they went to a few replays against Cork in the league,” the 24-year-old explains.

“I was born on the day of one of the replays. My mother was in labour and she told him to go ahead to the match. He was in a car crash on the way to the match and my aunty got two speeding fines and he ended up with concussion and couldn’t play the match. He never got his place back on the team after that.

“He had to wait 13 years to get back on the team again. He can blame me for messing up his career there a small bit.”

His first start came in 2003 against Waterford, and he was 32 or 33. Sticking that 13-year wait out on the periphery must have been tough, and his son smiles that he probably wouldn’t do it himself.

Jack Guiney Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“It was something he felt he had to do I suppose, he absolutely loves hurling,” Guiney tries to reason.

“He just absolutely loves hurling and felt it was something he wanted to do. He’s some man to put his mind to something and achieve it. He was on the ’96 (All-Ireland winning) panel but I think 1993 and playing the games was a bigger deal for him.

“I’ve seen him mark the likes of DJ and John Mullane and DJ will tell you himself he was a hard man to mark. He was just a dog whereas I would have a different attitude.”

Guiney adds, when asked if his Dad thinks he’ll get an All-Ireland title in his time: “He wouldn’t ever talk about it.

“He would let me off to do my own thing and wouldn’t put me under pressure to do what he did. He knows I’m a different person to him and he’ll back me on whatever I do. He’s not going to put me under pressure to do anything.

“But if you were to ask him he’d tell you we have a bit to go, and he’s probably right. We have a good bit of work to do.”

***

Daithi Burke with Jack Guiney Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

As Guiney returned from his travels Stateside, he half-knew that he was always going to go back into the Wexford panel. Davy Fitzgerald’s appointment as manager had no direct impact, he was already back. But it added serious excitement.

2017 has been and gone though. It’s a new year and it’s started exactly how Wexford wanted. After winning the Walsh Cup for the first time in 16 years, they recorded back-to-back wins in Division 1A over Waterford and Cork.

“I suppose it is what we set out to do,” Guiney, who is working and studying part-time in Dublin, nods.

“We were told coming into this year that we were going to be relegated, that last year was a little bit of a flash in the pan. So it’s nice to get the two wins in the bag and get relegation out of the way, hopefully. It’s a bit of a relief.

“The games that we did well in last year, there was more there. This year we are trying to find that. With the two wins in the league we were trying to prove lads wrong that we weren’t going to be relegated.

“Davy wants to win, he’s mad about winning. I think he’s let himself go a bit more this year, as in he really wants to win every single game he plays. That’s it, he’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t.”

And that belief, that more positive outlook, it’s filtering through more and more among the players.

Davy Fitzgerald signs hurleys after the game Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“It’s starting to seep in. You can say that you have belief that you’re going to win this, that and the other but until you start winning a few games, it doesn’t really sink in.

“I think there is a bit of belief there, we’re all very aware that it’s still February, teams are really only getting going. But as a group, we’re pretty happy with where we are.

“Winning is a habit. It’s easy to say we’re in that habit now, it’s early days but. We probably didn’t have that winning mentality last year.

“If you look at the great Kilkenny team, every game they played, they were going to do anything to win it. If they were winning they were going to try and win by more. They were beating teams by 30 and 40 points.

“We probably haven’t clicked into that psyche at all, or anything near it yet.”

That’s where they want to be though. And with the way Jack Guiney talks, you believe that they’ll get there.

Lee Keegan, Jack Guiney, Dotsy O’Callaghan and Jack Barry were speaking at the recent renovation of the Sports Physio Ireland clinic in Dublin 2, fitted out by Ardco Construction. Sports Physio Ireland are experts in sport specific injury management, returning clients to play better than they ever were before. 

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