Ger Egan has made Tyrrellspass proud regardless of Sunday's Leinster final result
It's the word that sums up Ger Egan better than any other. When things were going wrong against Meath the student stepped up and led his team on as they competed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes.
The fact that the midfielder dragged his side back from the brink along with Kieran Martin and John Heslin was no surprise to anyone who has seen him in action for his club over the last number of years.
Tyrrellspass have a number of county players in Tom Cribben's set-up, but there is no doubt that Egan shines brightest of all, even above his legendary club and county teammate Denis Glennon.
We spoke to Tyrrellspass treasurer Joe Daly who has known Egan for years to get the inside track on how a young man from the club has become one of the most talked about players of the championship.
When did Tyrrellspass mentors and coaches realise Ger had serious talent?
Ger stood out as a leader even when he was playing football and hurling as young fella. He was an excpetional talent at under-age and he was just a tremedmous athlete as well. He got to an age where he had to choose one sport over another and he chose GAA but he really could have made an Ireland team he was that good. Everyone in the club knew he was a special talent.
What does it mean to the club with Ger as county captain?
It''s always special having any county player involved from a club but you can really see in some of the younger members the buzz of excitement having the county captain around.
They know him and then get to see him in action for the seniors in big games.
What form did he show for the club that made him get noticed by the county team?
I think his best asset for me at least is his workrate. He prepares well and he does everything right in the build up to games and has done so for a long time. Even last year you could see that when we were having a bad inter-county season that it really hurt him and he worked just as hard last year as this year.
If he wasn't on the pitch he was in the gym and I know a few times after training was over you'd have to turn the lights off on the pitch to try and get him to go home because he'd stay out practising frees and his game.
Was it a surprise when he was named Westmeath captain?
I'm sure Tom Cribben has seen what we have seen and known about Ger at local level for the last number of years. Ger probably isn't that bothered by being captain and certainly wouldn't let it affect his game. He knows it's a huge honour but the game has to be played and he would never stand back without getting involved himself in anything.
He's a massive leader in the club in the dressing room in club league or championship. His preparation is brilliant and that kind of person in a club is great to have, especially around younger guys.
Has Ger taken over the mantle of Denis Glennon as one of the county's key players?
Denis and the rest of the lads from Jamie Gounad, Darren Quinn and Brian Slevin have given tremendous service to Westmeath and they are super players.
As a club man and Westmeath man Denis gave 100% and without Denis and the other lads we know in the club exactly what they contribute and we're around a longtime at the business end of county championships and it's the lies of Ger and Denis and Jamie that have us in that position.
What is the atmosphere like for county players who return to their clubs after championship?
At the end of the day it all starts with the club and that's where your county team gets built from. When I was involved in the county set up around 2006 or so one thing I noticed is that the atmosphere would be great as a county panel but when it came to local championship everyone would do their bit for their club.
Sometimes we'd be arguing or fighting with each other but it would be for the right reasons and you ave to admire that. I'd admire everyone who has stuck with Westmeath especially after a tough league.
What would it mean if Ger was to get a Leinster title back to the Club?
There is no doubt that Dublin are exceptional. They have raised the bar in Leinster but still only have two All-Irelands in the last few years. They're very professional and they deserve their rewards but whether we're ready for Sunday is immaterial.
If we win then great and if we lose so be it but what we need to get and what we ant to see if all our players, not just the local lads and Ger but everyone to perform and measure up. If that gets us close to Dublin well and good and if it gets us past them even better.