My Club(s) and I: Lee Chin
My Club(s) and I: Lee Chin
In this week's My Club and I, we speak to Wexford hurler Lee Chin about his two clubs - Sarsfields in football and Faythe Harriers in hurling.
Interview: Arthur Sullivan
Chin, a talented hurler and footballer, played for both Wexford senior teams in the 2013 season but for 2014, he is exclusively committed to the hurling team. He still plays senior club football with Sarsfields, while he has been a proud Faythe Harriers hurler since he was a little boy.
Both clubs are based in Wexford town, where Lee is from, and both play at senior championship level. Sarsfields have won five Wexford senior football championships, but the last of those titles came in 1984. Faythe Harriers also have five senior titles to their name, most recently winning in 2001. They reached their first county final in over a decade in 2012, but were beaten in the decider by Oulart-The Ballagh.
Faythe Harriers are the only hurling club Lee has ever played for, but he only joined the Sarsfields football club in 2012, having played underage football with another club in Wexford town - St. Mary's of Maudlintown.
GAA.ie: Tell us a little bit about your playing background with your two clubs...
Lee Chin: I originally played football for a club called St. Mary's of Maudlintown in Wexford but then I chose to step it up a level to a senior side and I now play for Sarsfields. I've been playing with them for over a year now.
My hurling club is the Faythe Harriers. I've been playing with them since as far back as I can remember playing hurling. U10 level, or U8s, whatever it was.
Maudlintown is in Wexford town. I grew up with a lot of young lads playing soccer, and we all then went to play GAA together so we all went together to the same football club. At underage, we were very good but then as I got a bit older, I had actually given up football for a while and then I decided to step it up and join a senior club as Maudlintown play at Intermediate level.
How long did you give up football for?
I played one year minor and then I finished. Then I came back to play for one year U21, so I gave up for two years or so. Then Jason Ryan, who was manager of Wexford at the time, got in contact with me and asked if I would be interested in trying out for Wexford. I told him I was interested and I followed through and ended up returning to football.
What kind of a club is Sarsfields?
It's a good club. We're going well the last couple of years, we've been reaching the semi-final stages of the Wexford Championship. We just need the lads that are there at the moment to put in that little bit more commitment and if the attitude is right, some day we could be a great team.
And the Faythe Harriers?
The Harriers are a senior club and have been for a long, long time. They're a great club and I've been playing there most of my life. It's pretty much the same group of lads that play with the Harriers who play football with Sarsfields. It is a good group of lads, but you have lads with different attitudes to hurling and football, some are more into one than the other. In 2012, we made it to the county final but we were beaten by Oulart-The Ballagh.
What are your earliest memories with the Harriers?
I can remember when I was either U10 or U12 we went up to Antrim for a weekend for a blitz. I think it was St. John's had organised a tournament or something. They are the kind of days I can remember, playing on small pitches and small goals and going on the odd trip.
Was hurling your first sporting love?
I fell in love with hurling straightaway, it was something I couldn't resist. When I first started playing sport it was all soccer. But then hurling came and it has always been my passion. I love it and took a serious shine to it from a young age.
Did you have much underage success as a player?
We made it to a lot of county finals but were beaten. In 2012, I had my first bit of actual silverware with the Harriers when we won a county U21 title.
Are there many lads still involved with the Harriers who would say, have gone on that trip to Antrim with you?
There would be a handful of lads left from those early days. There were a lot of lads there who had potential when they were younger too but as they got older, they dropped off. They go in different directions in life but there is still that handful of lads left. We'd be close, having played for a long time together.
Where are the two clubs situated?
They are literally side by side in Wexford town. There's a place called Park Gorman, it's a large park and it's just got a mixture of clubs in it. There's a rugby club there called Wexford Wanderers, another dual GAA club called the Volunteers, Mary's of Maudlintown are in there as well. And then you have Sarsfields and the Harriers.
Do you have any siblings involved with either club?
I have two sisters and one of them plays minor football for Wexford, but her club is called Clonard. It's the only Ladies Football team in the town. I have a lot of cousins that play soccer and football and then I have one cousin who is showing a lot of potential for hurling.
Are you the first person from your family to play for either Sarsfields or the Harriers?
They all claim that I get my sporting background from them and claim they played this and that! But I can't remember any of them ever playing and I've never seen any pictures! So I don't think there was anyone in the past that did play. So I wouldn't have much of a background in hurling or football.
My Irish family are from Wexford and my father's family are from Malaysia. My father sometimes claims that I get any sporting ability I have from him, his athleticism and stuff. He says he was a bit of an athlete himself. He lived in Malaysia until he was 17 or 18 and he used to be a 200m sprinter, used to play basketball and different things like that. So maybe he is telling the truth!
What's your happiest memory as a Faythe Harriers hurler?
2012 was a big highlight for me. Winning the U21 championship, a bit of success goes a long way. Then to get to a senior county final, you can see a lot of promise there for the future.
Have Faythe Harriers produced many Wexford hurlers over the years?
Well, Larry O'Gorman is a legend, having been on the 1996 All-Ireland team. Then you have the likes of Eddie 'Heffo' Welsh, Nicky Lambert, Barry Gough. Also, you have Joe Kearns, who was a part of the 1996 panel with Larry O. At the current time, apart from myself there's Richie Kehoe of course.