Meet the Third Eleven Captain: Paul Downey

Interview with Third Eleven Captain Paul Downey

With the Ulster Junior Leagues having their opening games this weekend, there is no better time to get the thoughts of new third eleven captain Paul Downey. 

What position do you play Paul? 

Centre Back

What Achievements have you had in hockey?

All Ireland School Champions, Burney Cup, McCullough Cup

How did you get into the sport and how many years have you been playing hockey?

I started playing hockey when I first joined the Academy. until then I had never lifted a stick really

What is the most memorial moment in your hockey career?

Definitely winning the All Irelands in lower sixth (2006). After the Academy having such a long wait to win it again (since 1992), it was fantastic to be part of that winning team with so many good players.

Who’s the best player you’ve played with/against?

I played a few practise matches with Eugene Magee when I was about 14, and he was a God even back then!

What are your thoughts on last season’s team performance and anything to work on?

Having only started playing for the last few games of last season, I didnt see alot of the thirds but I think if we approach every game with confidence and the belief that we can pull of a result, then hopefully the performances and results will follow.

What are the targets for the Third eleven this year?

After just avoiding relegation last year, and losing alot of key players, I think staying in Junior League One with a good run in the McClements Cup would be a very sucessful season!

Who are the key players in the third eleven this season (apart from yourself of course)?

We have alot of young players stepping up this year who will all have a big role to play if we are to have a sucessful season, but its hard to look past big Roger Martin at the back! Its amazing the pace he has at his age!!!

Who are the rising stars in this seasons team?

There will be alot of very talented young players getting an opportunity for the thirds this season, such as Andrew Dickson, Andrew Bingham, Camin McCluskey, Peter Bennington Clarke Neville, Matthew Warnock and Craig Campbell  all stepping up from last years fourths. They are all playing first or second eleven at the school and are more than capable of playing Junior One hockey

Finally as Captain you’ll be delivering team talks over the new season any memorial motivation quotes from your past spring to mind?

It has to be Mark Cordners classic of “youve got to put your balls on the line lads!!”