Monday, 19 September 2011

In The Spotlight - Ruairi Convery (Swatragh)

Last year I recall being out for a few beers one night.  It was the Sunday night of a Derry Club Championship weekend.  The ultimate in bar stool football post mortems.  I had a luxury of a Bank Holiday Monday lie in the following morning.  I can just hear Noel McFeely telling me I don’t work in the bank!  At the table beside me, a few lads were discussing the Swatragh game of that particular weekend.
Very often on The Sunday Game, pundits over analyse game plans and tactics.  On this occasion there were no contingency plans, no plan B if required.  One guy came back from the bar and enquired about the approach Swatragh took to the game.  The answer was very simple, was accurate and to the point.  
“The ‘keeper sets ‘er down, hoofs ‘er out to a big man in the middle, he catches ‘er, turns and hoofs ‘er into an even bigger man at full forward.” That was the frank assessment of Swatragh’s approach.
The ‘keeper was Mick O’Kane, the midfielder was Mickey Friel and the full-forward was Ruairi Convery.  In the 2009 championship at Glenullin, Swatragh beat Slaughtneil by employing exactly the same approach.
Last weekend Swatragh played Steelstown in a highly entertaining game.  ‘The Swa’ were three points down late in the game.  I was out for a meal and was relying on Twitter (@PaulMcIntyre14) for updates.
The following comment stuck in my mind as waited for my Sweet Chilli Chicken.  High ball causes panic in Steelstown square and Swatragh goal to level up the scores.”  I then put my phone away and tucked into the grub.  As it happens, Swatragh went on to win the game by a point.
Ruairi Convery’s introduction was a welcome addition to Swatragh’s attack.  Not only did ‘Big Ruairi’ miss the football and hurling in the early part of the season, but his knee injury forced him out of the Oak Leaf Cycle slam.  Ferris, Collins and the Cycle Slam crew missed out on his driving and navigation skills. 
Swatragh had to plan without his scoring threat in attack, but manager Artie Kearney will have a welcome selection headache ahead of the clash with Moneymore.  Will he start him at full-forward or use him as an impact man, a-la Kevin McManamon?
The next player In The Spotlight this week is Ruairi Convery.
Name: Ruairi Convery
Nickname: Big R
Club: Swatragh
Age: 27
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 15st

Occupation: Sports Coach
Boots/Gloves Worn: Adidas Predator and Optimum Air Tec.
Favourite Film: Braveheart.
Favourite Song: Pearl Jam – Betterman.
Favourite Food: Fillet Steak, champ and pepper sauce.
Favourite Drink: Tennents.
Favourite pitch: Swatragh or Casement.
Best thing about playing football: Meeting new people and kicking points. 
Worst thing about football: Running.
Pre Match Meal: Chicken and Pasta
Pre Game Superstition: None.
Toughest opponent: The Next One.
Best player played with: Anthony Tohill
Sporting Highlight: Winning the All-Ireland with Derry Minors in 2002 and scoring a goal in the final.
Biggest Disappointment: I’ve had a few. Losing 2008 County Hurling Final and being relegated last year out of senior football.
Childhood idol: Anthony Tohill
Biggest influence in your career: Parents and Family
Advice for young players: Listen to your coaches! 
Best trainer in the club: Apart from myself, it’s probably Ryan Dillon or Philip Mooney.
Worst trainer in the club: There’s a list of them!  A toss up between Liam Kearney, Mickey Kirkpatrick and Declan McNicholl. 
Other Sports played: Hurling

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