Six time All Ireland Winner Michael Fitzsimons looks back on his young days with his beloved Cuala
Michael Fitzsimons has become part of the elite club in Dublin to have won six All Ireland Medals. The Cuala back has tirelessly contributed to the Dublin Senior Football teams under both Pat Gilroy and Jim Gavin. From an All Ireland Junior Football Champion in 2008, to his Senior championship debut against Wexford in 2010, right through to his All Ireland Final Man Of The Match performance in 2016 and beyond, Fitzsimons is a true servant. And he credits a lot of this to his life as a kid growing up in Cuala GAA club.
In the GAA NOW “Drawn Stories” Feature, Michael brings us back to the early days with Cuala. Long before the days of strength and conditioning. Well before clubs had large gym facilities for their members. When you used the resources around you for training and fitness.
The good old days at Cuala
Fitzsimons recalls a coach he had as a youngster who was very much into physical fitness in a time when is wasn’t of ultimate importance. Those days that coach would bring the Cuala lads down to Dun Laoghaire Pier on an evening. The boys would be put through their paces, jogging the pier. Doing press ups on the band stand. The coach would have the boys sprint at the ramparts and climb up for upper body strength. And of course sprints up and down the pier steps. Something to really get the lads buzzing.
Michael has great memories of the time, and pays tribute to the club who looked after them so well. And it paid off. That team won U14, U15 and U16 League titles. They followed that with a Minor Football Championship and an U21 Championship.
And it was thinking outside the box back then, as many of us did ourselves, that kept that level of enthusiasm to keep playing right through the grades.
Cuala are currently top of Group 4 in this year’s Dublin Senior 2 Championship. They play St. Maurs this afternoon, but they’ve already qualified to the Quarter Final stages. They captured the Senior B title back in 2015 and are looking good to contest this again this year, with the goal of promotion to the Senior 1 Championship.
(video credit: GAANOW via YouTube)