Sport

West Cork Sports Star monthly award is very safe in Cathal Wilson’s hands

November 29th, 2021 12:30 PM

By Ger McCarthy

West Cork Sports Star monthly award winner Cathal Wilson with his parents Cha and Imelda and sister Méabh.

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THE latest Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star monthly award is in very safe hands.

Newcestown and Cork U20 All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Cathal Wilson (19) played a central role in Cork’s 2021 All-Ireland U20 winning-success this year, and has been honoured for his role in that triumph.

Wilson, a Marketing student in MTU, has also been a mainstay between the sticks for his native Newcestown who reached the semi-finals of the 2021 Cork Senior A hurling championship.

‘I’m delighted to receive the award and was a bit shocked when I found out, to be honest,’ Wilson told The Southern Star.

‘I was just fortunate to be part of a great Cork U20 setup this year. We had a great panel of players. To win this award, well, it is as much their award as it is mine. Look, I’m just delighted with the award but a lot of people put their time and effort into helping me with both Newcestown and Cork. So, I’m glad my family are here with me tonight in the Celtic Ross Hotel as well. They have helped me as much as anyone else.’

Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star monthly award winner Cathal Wilson with family and friends at the award presentation. (Photo: George Maguire)

 

Lockdown was a difficult experience for everyone in the country. Wilson and his family were no different but as a young inter-county goalkeeper, how did he maintain his sharpness, his touch and concentration levels before the all-clear was given?  ‘It was tough training over lockdown alright but I had my cousin Jack Meade and we did a lot of running, within the guidelines, whenever we could,’ Wilson explained.

‘My college work kept me going during the day but I am living right next door to the Newcestown pitch so I’d go for a run there whenever I was able to. Some days you might see David Buckley or Ciara O’Sullivan out running and they were just like me, chasing our own individual goals and trying to stay sharp as best we could.

‘I tried to push myself as hard as I could on those runs and keep pushing myself to be ready for whenever we got back training. You’d be pucking away every day and keeping your touch sharp as well but it was difficult.’

Wilson’s work paid off and an invitation to be part of Pat Ryan’s Cork inter-county U20 hurling panel was gratefully accepted last January. It proved a profitable move as the young Newcestown goalkeeper made the Cork number one jersey his own and embarked on a terrific run to the U20 All-Ireland final. Cork overcame Galway 4-19 to 2-14 in Thurles in mid August.

‘My goal for the year was to break on to the Cork U20 team and learn as much as I could,’ Wilson said.

‘I was training with great players and learning all the time from Pat Ryan and his management team. I was fortunate to make the team and gain the experiences of playing in big games like our All-Ireland final win over Galway.

‘There is still a lot of learning to do and I just hope to hold on to that number one jersey next year. There is going to be a lot of competition for my place and every place on the Cork U20 team. I cannot rest on my laurels and am looking forward to getting back to training and staying sharp working away on my own until then.

‘I have to bring the same attitude and commitment as I did last year otherwise I will lose my place. That’s the way it is with Cork so you always have to be at the top of your game.’

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