John Muldoon speaks with immense pride about how much hurling means to Galway
John Muldoon has an All-Ireland Minor Hurling medal to his name and has enjoyed some of the best seasons of his career since hitting 30.
The Portumna native will be at Croke Park on Sunday when Galway take on Waterford in the senior final but a seat in the stands will have to do. Asked why he chose the life of a Connacht rugby player as opposed to a Galway hurler, he remarks:
"I was too slow and fat!
"All I did was take the head off lads when I was younger. That only works up to a certain point."
Muldoon was on The Hard Yards podcast to discuss his team's Guinness PRO14 campaign, new coach Kieran Keane and ambitions for the opening months of the new season. However [from 2:10 below], Galway's quest for a fifth Liam MacCarthy Cup.
Now aged 34, Muldoon recalled his days hurling with Damien and Kevin Hayes and the club success he had with Portumna. He admitted that most of his childhood dreams were played out on the hallowed turf of Croke Park on All-Ireland finals day.
"To be honest, that was my first love," Muldoon said.
"I didn't grow up thinking about being a rugby player. I grew up thinking about being Joe Cooney or playing beside Joe Cooney. He was my hero, growing up.
"Rugby only came late into my life and it [my goals] changed once it did but when I was out the back garden and dreaming of lifting cups, it was always the Sam Maguire or the Liam MacCarthy."
Rugby season kicks off at The Sportsground on Saturday evening when Glasgow come to Galway town but Muldoon insists he and the squad have been happy to see the hurlers - both minor and senior - get so much positive coverage and well wishes across the board. "The buzz has started to come on," he says, "and the hunt for tickets is well and truly on."
A motivational trip to see the Galway minor hurlers ended up being fortuitous for Muldoon as it secured him two tickets to Sunday's final up in Dublin.
Muldoon's wife and friends may be keen on that second ticket but they'll be doing well to get in there ahead of Bundee Aki, who is said to be "mad" to get up to Croker to see his adopted county in action.
Who could say 'No' to this guy?!