Saturday, 24 September 2011

In The Spotlight - Conleith Gilligan (Ballinderry)

He may be known as ‘Deets’, some Ballinderry folk will call him ‘Dino’ but when Ballinderry won the 1998 All-Ireland Sevens title at Kilmacud Crokes, Conleith Gilligan was quite simply the star of the show as the ‘fly’ goalkeeper.  He had played MacRory and County football as a keeper but sevens is different.  Your goalkeeper is very much your ace card, he is the play maker.

A few years later after Ballinderry had won the Derry, Ulster and All-Ireland titles Conleith Gilligan was most likely in Forbes [not Forbes club or Forbes Racing] ordering a new sideboard, such was the number of man of the match accolades he was picking up.  With Mickey Conlan now in the established number one, Gilligan was the conductor at number 11.

However, in the last few seasons the Ballinderry attack has taken up a different formation.   Raymond ‘Crook’ Wilkinson and Enda Muldoon have been playing in this role, with Gilligan pushed up as a finisher, alongside Collie Devlin and more recently new underage sensation Ryan Bell in attack. 

So basically Gilligan has played many different roles in the game.  From the early days of goalkeeper practice on St Pat’s back pitch, to a penalty scoring goalkeeper with Derry minors.  From mastering the extra man role at Kilmacud to opening up Nemo Rangers on that famous St Paddy’s day trip to Thurles in 2002.

During the week he will have been in Eugene Kelly’s thoughts as he prepares his Dungiven side.  As he steps off the bus in Celtic , Gilligan will be have his sights firmly set on anther county final appearance.  He is the last of our featured players in this week’s semi-final build-up.Park

Name: Conleith Gilligan

Nickname: Too many to name

Club: Ballinderry Shamrocks

Age: 31

Height  5.10


Occupation: Sales manager

Boots/Gloves Worn: Nike Tiempo/Breath gloves

Favourite Film: 300

Favourite Song:  Anything by Susan Boyle

Favourite Food: Chinese

Favourite Drink: Tea

Favourite pitch: Shamrock Park

Best thing about football: Playing

Worst thing about football: Losing

Pre Match Meal: Pasta

Pre Game Superstition: None

Toughest opponent: Raymond (Wrinkle) Wilson

Best player played with: Too many to single one out.

Sporting Highlight: AIl Ireland Club title 2002.

Biggest Disappointment: Losing any final

Childhood idol: Trevor Giles

Biggest influence in your career: Brian McIvor

Advice for young players: Work hard and listen harder

Best trainer in the club: Kevin Moss

Worst trainer in the club: Darren Conway

Other Sports played: None

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