You've probably never heard of Michael Darragh MacAuley's tune to get pumped to 8 months ago

You've probably never heard of Michael Darragh MacAuley's tune to get pumped to

Michael Darragh MacAuley is a free spirit who has his own way of doing things.

Sporting a camouflage denim jacket and a matching pair of runners to boot, those are the only things concealed on a Thursday morning on Harcourt Street.

The choice of gear is certainly in no way related to the Ballyboden man's outgoing personality that sees him nearly give away a few trade secrets before he remembers to bite his lip, just in time.

But he's so passionate and genuine in his ways anyway that he'd keep you interested even if he was talking about the process of paint drying and that's surely a turn up for the books from your standard, cliched modern day sports star.

That's because everything is an open book  with the tall, physically robust and imposing figure who will give a thoughtful answer to any question he is asked.

And he wasn't talking about paint drying, he was talking about anything and everything from the influence of basketball on his career, to his love for Tupac as well as Biggie Smalls. There's much more to this man than Gaelic football.

Widely renowned for his interest in basketball, the primary school teacher doesn't hesitate to remind us that it was always his first love, rather than our national game.

"There was regularly a clash and GAA was always my second love. I always played basketball first, it was always an important sport for me growing up," he told us at the launch of this year's Fanta Sandstorm.

Indeed, he attributes much of his success in gaelic football over the last few years to his background in basketball.

"I've said it numerous times, I wouldn't be wearing a blue jersey or anywhere near it if I didn't play basketball as a kid. I'd be an absolute run of the mill Gaelic footballer. It's given me that awareness, that spacial awareness and that handling ability that's brought something different to my game."

And it's hard to argue with him there, because this robust midfielder is certainly not your run of the mill gaelic footballer now.

With all the swagger of an esteemed NBA player, MacAuley went on to speak about the impact of this American culture on him when he was younger, before he delved into his all important music playlist.

"Tupac is definitely on the playlist. In the interests of balance, I also like Biggie just in case any Biggie crew is going to come at me.

And then he can't help himself but to delve deeper.

"Somebody asked me the question before why Ireland was always on Tupac's side of that rivalry and I was like, that's actually true, I don't know why. Then I was thinking, he kind of fought for the establishment and we kind of have that colonial background and stuff, and I suppose, that's why we're more Tupac.

This is a man so well versed on all things important and unimportant that he could chat to you all day.

"Sorry what the hell am I talking about?"

Music is one of those important things.

"Tupac's on the playlist, I've a weird type of a playlist, I'll throw in anything. I was listening to an Indian preacher on the way here so you don't know what's going to be on that."

The one that gets him pumped is a 1990s Dance Classic and when no journalist in the room is aware of the track, he plays it on his Spotify for us and starts banging his hands off the table to the rhythm of it.

"You see I think about this stuff too much. I don't want to recklessly throw out my favourite album now... but it's 'Somebody else's guy by Jocelyn Brown'."

When asked about his opinion on the Super 8s, he's honest in saying he doesn't really have one.

"I don't have a clue, to be honest. I'm sure it'll be a fun time for all involved," he laughs.

Some character.

Fanta Sandstorm, the award-winning beach run returns for 2018 in Dublin and Kerry with a 5k obstacle challenge at Dublin’s Dollymount Strand and Kerry’s Ballyheigue Beach.

Fanta will again this year be teaming up with Spin1038 with exclusive fun, games and DJ sets on the day as well as the full Fanta portfolio; Fanta Orange Zero, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Orange, Fanta Exotic Zero and the new Fanta Pink Grapefruit Zero.