Profile: Joe Phelan

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Joe Phelan, team captain, raises the cup aloft after his side’s triumph in the 2004 county hurling final.
What were your first memories of Portlaoise GAA?
Sunday morning blitzes, was a great way for chaps to get started. I hurled in goals for the first year aged 9 I think. Also have vague memories of seniors and Camross! Early Heroes? John Taylor was class. Very lucky to have hurled with him before he retired.

Unsung heroes?
I remember lads like Des Killeen, Eamonn Murphy, Micky Bowe and Keith Murphy on whom you could depend your life. Don’t think they’re making them like those lads anymore.
 
Best Players down through the years?
As well as John Taylor I would include Niall Rigney and Tommy Fitz who always stood up when the pressure was on.

Characters?
Brochan Reilly was some crack. Will always remember him belting out “Red is the Rose”. Times have changed over the years regarding the type of characters. More recently Bertie Walsh provided the entertainment.

Funny memories?
A trip to Gran Canaria had its moments but I can’t go into that. Memories of Underage Was lucky to have a very strong age group coming up through Juvenile. So we achieved a lot. Players like Eoin Browne, Bruno McCormack, Aidan Fennelly, Colm Byrne, Tommy Fitz, Noel Costello, Mick Bowe and more all proved to be serious players at senior level.

Biggest influences?
My father was always involved over the years with us which had a positive influence. Would have looked up to many players. Taylor, Rigney, Duggan, Teddy, Hano. Cheddar was and is a brilliant man. He would do anything for his players. Highlight of club career It will hopefully happen over the next couple of years Biggest disappointment? Missing the 2009 county final, was away that year!

What would your aspirations be for the club in 20 years time?
Would love to see our underage dominating again, which will lead to big things for the seniors. And I’m sure the club ground will get the clubhouse to match its surround, along with a few mature trees to break the wind.

What does Portlaoise GAA mean to you?
It has always been simple for me. I was given a Portlaoise jersey at Under 12 and was taught to respect it and do my best when wearing it or representing the club. Everything we did growing up revolved around hurling and football with Portlaoise, and that hasn’t changed too much over the years. I have always been hugely proud of being part of Portlaoise club.
Senior Hurling 'A' Champions 2015. SHC A Final. Back: Denis Kavanagh, Roch Scully, Joe Geaney, Shane Smyth, Eoghan Nealon, Joe Phelan, Eoin Costelloe, Tony Byrne, Colm Gleeson, Chris Lynch, Darragh Rigney, Ciaran McEvoy, Cahir Healy, Philip Roche, Gary Bergin, Frank Flanagan, Caolan Murphy. Front: Bertie Walsh, Eoin Rochford, Sean Culleton, Niall Gleeson, Keith Murphy(Capt), Aaron Bergin, Tommy FitzGerald, Noel Costelloe, CianTaylor, Eoin Phelan, Dean Lynch, Rhys Murphy, Craig Haslam, Pauric O’Neill, Daniel Delaney.
County hurling finalists in 2008. Back: Eoin Browne, Brochan O’Reilly, Derek Delaney, Tony Byrne, Barry Fitzgerald, Brian Glynn, Sean Cotter, Joe Phelan, David O’Mahoney, Danny Browne, Niall Fitzpatrick, Roch Scully. Front: Michael Bowe, Tommy Mulligan, Darren Murphy, Keith Murphy, Brian Mulligan, Eoghan Whelan, Colm Cleere, Tommy Fitzgerald, Noel Costello, Dermot Costello, Cahir Healy, Joe Gleeson.
Senior hurling finalists 2007. Back: John Hanniffy, Brian Glynn, Colm Cleere, Eamon Fennelly, Niall Fitzpatrick, Joe Phelan, Noel Costello, Dermot Costello, Derek Delaney, Barry Fitzgerald, Paul Scanlon, Darren Murphy. Front: Cahir Healy, Tony Byrne, Tommy Fitzgerald, Keith Murphy, Eoin Browne, Brian Mulligan, Eoghan Whelan, Michael Bowe, Brian Smith, Tommy Mulligan.
2004 Laois Hurling Champions - Portlaoise GAA
SH champions 2004: Back: Roc Scully, Liam Phelan, Eoin Fingleton, Brian McCormack, Barry Fitzgerald, Dermot Costello, Noel Costello. Middle: Mark Phelan, Niall Rigney, John Mulligan, Geoff Phelan, Eoin Browne, Paul Scanlon, Colm Clear, Tommy Fitzgerald, Eamon Fennelly, Brian Mulligan, Joe Phelan (Capt.), Tommy Mulligan, Cyril Duggan, Jamie Fitzpatrick. Front: Darren Murphy, Mark O’Sullivan, Derek Delaney, John Hanniffy (with his son, Sean Og), Pat Fitzpatrick, Broughan O’Reilly, Alan Kingsley, Sean Cotter, Keith Murphy, Mick Bowe, Cahir Healy. Mascot: Cormac Rigney.
Back: Niall Fitzpatrick, Eoin Browne, Liam Egan, Brian Fitzpatrick, Danny Browne, Joe Phelan, Colm Byrne, Diarmuid Mullins, Denis Kavanagh. Front: Brian McCormack, Pauric Phelan, David Devaney, Tommy Mulligan (Capt.), Tommy Fitzgerald, Michael Bowe.
SH champions 1998: Back: Des Rigney, Des Killeen, Eamon Murphy, Eamon Fennelly, John Hanniffy, John Gleeson, Brian Murphy, Cyril Duggan. Front: Tommy Mulligan, Diarmuid Mullins, Tony Bergin, Niall Rigney (Capt.), Joe Phelan, Brian Bohane, John Taylor. Mascots: Colm Gleeson, Darragh Rigney and Shane Cuddy.

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