Cork midfielder Lorcán McLoughlin is the latest player under the spotlight in our weekly 'Ten Questions' feature.
McLoughlin will line out for Cork in the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship quarter-final against Kilkenny this weekend (2pm). Clare take on Galway in the second semi-final, which has a 4pm throw-in.
1. What’s the most you have ever scored in any game at any level?
Probably one of the biggest scores I have ever put up was in a secondary school game in an All-Ireland semi-final (2008 Vocational Schools SHC ‘B’). Now, a lot of those were frees, but that was definitely the one big haul I remember. I went to Coláiste Treasa in Kanturk and we played a team from Bridgetown in Wexford that day. We won after extra-time.
2. If you could swap jerseys with any hurler past or present and hang it on your wall, who would you select?
Tommy Walsh from Kilkenny. I am a huge admirer of his and he had been one of the most consistent hurlers down through the years and he continues to perform at his very best at this stage of his career. I’d definitely add Tommy’s jersey to my collection, but if they beat us on Sunday I might have to think twice!
3. If you could play an All-Ireland final in any stadium in the world other than Croke Park, what stadium would you pick and why?
Thurles. There is a great atmosphere there with the build-up in the town beforehand and the great crowds. On big championship days the atmosphere is just electric. Also, the crowd is very close to the pitch in the stadium which leads to a great buzz. It has to be Thurles. Cork managed to play and win an All-Ireland final there in 1984, so that would have to be a good omen.
4. Name your dream midfield partner.
Jerry O’Connor in his prime was one of the top midfielders in the game. Listening to people talking about hurlers down through the years John Fenton (pictured above with the Liam MacCarthy Cup in Thurles, 1984) from Midleton was supposed to have been excellent too. Either of the two of them would have to be my preferred choice.
5. Who was your toughest opponent in the underage grades in Cork?
I would have crossed paths with Patrick Horgan when I was playing for Kanturk against Glen Rovers in county finals and in the various age grades growing up. He’s an excellent hurler so he would definitely have been the toughest opponent I ever encountered.
Weight: 11st 7lbs
Debut: 2010 Allianz League v Offaly
6. If you could revisit any one moment in your career and go back and change it, what moment would you choose?
I would have to go back to last Sunday week against Limerick. I would love to have won a Munster title. Cork haven’t won anything in a long time and that would have been huge for the county and given us a massive lift. That’s top of my list.
7. Have you ever shown any ability in any sport other than hurling?
I play football with Kanturk too, but table tennis is my other passion. I like to think I am very good at it. When I was in CIT, myself and Fintan O’Leary (former Cork panelist) would take each other on. I would beat him every so often but it was often very tight.
8. Who’s your favourite hurling pundit on TV?
Tomás Mulcahy gives and excellent review of games. He’s honest and I suppose being a Cork man I might be a bit biased but I think he generally calls it right.
9. What do you see as the percentage breakdown between talent and hard work in terms of what makes a top GAA player?
Both of them go hand in hand. The only way you will improve as a hurler is to work hard. It’s the only way to get results. I’d say the split is roughly 50-50. They go hand in hand.
10. Who’s the most famous sportsman you’ve ever met?
Donncha O’Callahan. In 2010 he gave a talk for Cork before a big game – the first round of the championship if I’m not mistaken. He was so honest about his achievements and where he was at in his career. I wouldn’t be hugely into rugby but I’d watch it if it was on. The way Donncha minds himself and is 100 per cent committed to the sport was a great lesson. He was so unassuming and down to earth.