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'When you're winning, everything is easier': 37-year-old Gilligan not ready to hang up hurley

The Sixmilebridge veteran hopes to carry on hurling after collecting his fourth county title last month.

Gilligan: scored a brilliant 1-6 in the Clare senior hurling final.
Gilligan: scored a brilliant 1-6 in the Clare senior hurling final.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

THAT WINNING FEELING has tipped Sixmilebridge veteran Niall Gilligan towards hurling for another year.

Gilligan, 37, made headlines last month when he rolled back the years and played a starring role in the Clare county final.

It was Sixmilebridge’s first senior title in 11 years — and 17 years on from the club’s most famous day when a young Gilligan hit 0-3 to help clinch the All-Ireland title.

The fairytale was cut short by defeat against Limerick champions Na Piarsaigh in the Munster final and afterwards the veteran forward hinted that he might hang up his hurl.

But now he’s thinking about going again — if circumstances allow.

“It’s very hard to plan ahead at 37, 38 but I think that I will go back training and see how I get on,” Gilligan told TheScore.ie.

If the body lets me do it and all things being equal, I’ll stay at it.

“I’ve other commitments now too. I’ve family and my wife is due a baby at the end of January so I won’t be able to do much at that stage.

“An awful lot depends too on when the Clare County Board will set the fixtures for the senior championship.

“Basically I’ll play it by ear and see how it goes.”

image

Gilligan, left, with Galway’s Joe Canning and Sixmilebridge club-mate Chloe Morey at yesterday’s announcement (Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile)

“You’ve to look after your body a little better and definitely after a hard game or a hard training session, it takes a bit longer to recover if you get a knock.

This year maybe it was different. When you’re winning, everything is easier.

“If the year had been very unsuccessful, I might have a different outlook on things but after winning it’s much easier to keep going.”

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Niall Kelly

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