Ronan Collins was half my size, but could kick the ball out twice as long as me!

FAN…ON  THE SPOT – Former Elphin player Shane Reynolds is this week’s fan on the spot


Hi, Shane…nice win for Elphin over Strokestown. How did that go down?

Yes, Elphin ground out a very important two-point win. Austin Kielty scored the decisive goal in the second half, and they fought off a late Strokestown onslaught to set them up nicely for this weekend!


So, can Elphin revive the glory days in the coming years?

When I left in 2015 I feared for Elphin as the underage teams were plying their trade in the lower divisions, but they have come on strong since and who knows, this year’s championship is somewhat of a lottery – so they may even cause a surprise this year!


Who was your toughest opponent?

A little of an unknown player here: Shane Farrell. He didn’t move that often but when he did and came through on goal he was a very formidable force. Hung up the boots too early though!


If Roscommon GAA was a song, what song would it be?

I think they sing it from the terrace…Common People from Pulp. Just replace the lyrics with Roscommon people, if you know what I mean!


Roscommon People? Sounds good! Now, a genie grants you two GAA wishes. They are…?

1: Elphin to end their over 60-year wait to win the Fahey Cup.

2: The Middle East GAA Board to be allowed to enter the All-Ireland series – our team would be good enough!


Which teammate did you most envy?

Ronan Collins, my rival in goals…half the size of me, but could kick the ball out twice as long as me, I could never figure it out!


You’re home from Abu Dhabi…what’s the GAA scene like there?

I’m home from Abu Dhabi, where the local scene is almost intercounty-like. The main club is Na Fianna, and just to give you an idea of the standards, they have former Roscommon players Scott Oates, Cian Connolly, Cathal McHugh and Darren O’Malley playing with them. I hear rumours that Senan Kilbride is also joining them. It may not be long until we have our own Rossie team over there, but I think I’d have to settle for a place on the bench in such illustrious company. I play with Al Reem Shamrocks, a new club who play at intermediate level.


Back home, who’ll win the 2020 Roscommon SFC?

Very difficult to call as it’s been such a surreal year for football. Pearses showed their champions’ prowess with a big comeback last weekend. I am going to sit on the fence here and say it will definitely be staying south anyways!


Best game you played in and why?

The best game I played in was the minor final of 2003. I was only 15 years of age so it was the biggest game of my career. We went 2-2 to 0-1 down after 10 minutes. Disaster. But we ground it back and won it by two in the second half…still my most enjoyable feeling after a final whistle (long time ago now though).


Three words to describe what the GAA means to you…

Passion, pride, home.


Thanks Shane, stay safe…and keep flying the Elphin and Roscommon flags in Abu Dhabi!

(Interview: Paul Healy)