"It kind of adds to the ammunition for the people you're playing against."
It's not every day, as an amateur sportsperson, you'll get rewarded for your efforts so when Adidas came in to sponsor Conor Mortimer with a boot-deal in 2005, the Mayo man said he'd make hay when the sun shined.
Leave out the slagging from teammates and the sledging from opponents and it was a win-win according to the Mayo man, who says that GAA players would receive up to two or three grand for their troubles, as well as box-loads of any sort of gear you could think of from their sponsors.
A GAA player's dream.
A select group of 11 GAA players and were chosen to become Adidas ambassadors back in 2005 and on this week's GAA Hour, the Mayo man talks boots, boot-deals and the gear that went along with it.
"Adidas asked 15 of us to come on board and wear their boots. You get a load of gear as well and it was change for nothing. There was no real conversation it was just 'yeah of course,'" Mortimer recalls.
"I think we got two or three grand maybe and I think the whole contract was worth five grand.
"You'd get a couple of grand worth of gear in boxes as well. They'd send you out a big bag of gear in your size and you could ten or 12 pairs of boots for the summer. I was with them for three years...In them days, you'd have done anything for a few bob. It's kind of like, when you see a fella wearing them, you ask him what's the story with that? You'll get the rep's name and ask for a few pairs of boots and away you go."
With the predators in town, the next logical step was to get your name stitched onto the tongue but teak tough corner backs would make sure to get a few digs in, as Mortimer recalls.
- Wooly is ready to buy a house in the Six counties
- Kerry's controversial but iconic Adidas gear
- Mikey Sheehy and Conor Mortimer's boot deals
- Social media tips for inter-county stars
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— The GAA Hour (@TheGAAHour) March 25, 2021
"I think anyone who has an interest in soccer. You always see the soccer players had their names stitched in. It kind of adds to the ammunition for the people you're playing against. That's the one thing, when you're going out with your name on your boots, people would be saying you're arrogant and you're this and you're that. Like I see people even have their names on the runners. I'd even do it myself sometimes. I suppose when you get out of the system, out of the limelight, it's no harm to remind people of your name."
If it wasn't the Adidas predator, Mortimer didn't want to know about it with the corner forward sporting and swearing by the boot for the duration career. Some players couldn't give a continental what brand of boot they were wearing but for others, the kick, the feel and the spring all makes a difference.
"There was obviously a few digs in your own dressing room about getting this gear. There was one or two lads went over to Germany to get their boots moulded..."
"There's a huge difference between them. When you're kicking balls or kicking frees, you just know your boot. If I went out and started kicking frees in a different pair, I just wouldn't have the same confidence..."