John McGrath looking forward to Fenway Hurling Classic
By John Fallon
Tipperary forward John McGrath is getting plenty of opportunities to showcase his vast array of skills and this weekend is looking forward to trying out the Super 11s at the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic in Boston.
The 23-year old, a former All-Ireland minor football winner, has just returned from playing for Ireland in the Shinty tournament in Scotland last month.
And next month, much to the envy of his classmates at University of Limerick where he is studying construction management and engineering, he will jet off to Singapore with the All-Stars.
“Yeah, it’s all go at the moment, but it’s hugely enjoyable. It is great to try out new things. I really enjoyed the Shinty and am looking forward to Boston," said McGrath.
“We have had a few training sessions to get used to the rules and it’s clear it is a very fast game. Certainly, it’s clear so far that the backs don’t like it!
“There is a competitive streak in us all and we want to do well over there. There is a rivalry between all the counties, it doesn’t matter what we are playing in, we want to do well and win."
The versatile forward, one of the few in GAA history to win both minor hurling and football All-Ireland medals, said that having played Shinty recently is helping him adjust to the rules which will be applied on Sunday in the AIG Fenway Classic when they take on Clare in one semi-final and Galway and Dublin meet in the other semi-final.
“It takes a bit of time to adjust to rule changes. For example, you can’t catch the ball in Shinty but it’s only when you go into a game scenario that it really becomes a challenge. It will be the same on Sunday, we have had a few training sessions to get used to the rules but it will be another task to do that when you are facing Clare.
“It’s only a few months ago since we played them in the championship so neither side will be holding back and it will be the same for Dublin and Galway.
“But it’s good to try these things out, some of them may work in hurling down the road and it’s great for players to adapt. We won’t feel it now until we are into 2018 so everything that helps is a bonus.
“There is also a social side to a trip like this, a rare opportunity to meet and get to known lads from other counties. I would know a good few of the Clare boys from college but it’s good to meet up with the other lads. I’m looking forward to it and I think it will be a great day.