20 questions with Nemo Rangers' Luke Connolly: It was a thrill to play with some of my favourite players

Gifted forward won county titles alongside the likes of James Masters and Paul Kerrigan
20 questions with Nemo Rangers' Luke Connolly: It was a thrill to play with some of my favourite players

Nemo Rangers' Luke Connolly scores a fine point against Newcestown, during their Cork Premier SFC clash at Brinny. Picture: David Keane.

Luke NEMO Rangers star Luke Connolly says he just wants to keep on playing like Paul Kerrigan, one of his idols.

The former Cork senior remains a talismanic figure for his club, having lifted the county again last winter.

“I also want to create a pathway for the younger fellas to come through,” he said.

20 Questions with Luke Connolly 

1 What age are you? 30.

2 When did you start playing? I was about four playing Street Leagues with Nemo.

3 What is your favourite position to play in? That would be number 11, centre-forward, with a bit of freedom.

4 What other sports did you play growing up? 

Soccer was my sport initially though I also swam. 

Luke Connolly, College Corinthians, battles Gary Coughlan, St Mary's. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Luke Connolly, College Corinthians, battles Gary Coughlan, St Mary's. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

I played with College Corinthians.

5 Who were the major influences on your sporting career? 

My father Mick invested all his time into my sister Meghan and myself and he was a huge influence. 

Megan Connolly supporting her brother Luke in the 2010 minor final. Picture: Brian Lougheed
Megan Connolly supporting her brother Luke in the 2010 minor final. Picture: Brian Lougheed

Outside of that, Billy Morgan was another, especially with my time at UCC because that shaped where my career went. Nemo managers like Steven O’Brien and Larry Kavanagh were also influential.

6 Who are your sporting heroes then and now? Colin Corkery was always someone I looked up to as a a kid. 

James Masters was another and I got to play with him. I loved James’s style. 

Joe Kavanagh was another class player. I was lucky to play with Paul Kerrigan, too.

7 What was the most memorable game you played and why? Recent bias might come into it, but if I had to pick one it would be the Munster Club final against Dr Croke’s 2017. They were coming off the back of an All-Ireland and we weren’t given much of a chance. It was a game that went well for me, scoring 10 points.

8 What was the most memorable game you attended? A lot of people say the 2010 All-Ireland final. I played with the minors before it, but I don’t remember a lot about the senior final. I do recall Conor Counihan getting annoyed at a loose play close to the final whistle. I remember coming home and the parade on the Monday night.

9 What was your biggest sporting disappointment? Two stand out. The first was an All-Ireland colleges semi-final with Coláiste Chríost Rí against St Jarlath’s and it still sticks in the throat. The second was the Sigerson Cup final of 2015, losing to DCU after extra-time at the Mardyke.

10 Who was your toughest opponent? I marked Jack McCaffrey in 2019, when he managed to pull away from me even when soloing with the ball. Michael Shields was another because he never held back.

11 What is your favourite venue to play in? Páirc Uí Rinn. Love the pitch and the atmosphere.

12 What are the most important traits in your sport? Adaptability is a key one now, being able to change with the times. Confidence, especially as a forward, is crucial and that’s not being cocky. Mental strength is vital, too.

Nemo Rangers captain Luke Connolly lifting the cup after the victory over St Finbarr's last season. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Nemo Rangers captain Luke Connolly lifting the cup after the victory over St Finbarr's last season. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

13 What advice would you give young players starting out? If you have a choice between the pitch and the gym, go with the pitch. Take a bag of balls out and practice your kicking.

14 If you could go to any sporting event what would it be? The NBA finals would be very high up on the list. The best one would be the Irish girls in the World Cup final next summer.

15 What movies and TV shows are you streaming? I watched White Lotus recently, enjoyable, but strange. I’m a sucker for The Wire.

16 What is on your Spotify playlist? Wedding songs at the moment! I listen to all genres really.

17 What is your favourite book? I read Paul Kimmage’s account of his cycling career and it was great.

18 Who do you enjoy following on social media? I’m not a big fan.

19 What is your cheat meal when you’re not training? A Chinese after Coughlan’s.

20 What are your sporting goals from here? Another couple of counties would be great, plus an All-Ireland club. I want to keep playing and also create a pathway for younger players.

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