Shane Kilkenny caught up with Laois midfielder John O’Loughlin to look back on a season of ‘close but no cigar’ for the county.
On reflection how would you view the 2012 season?
Disappointment would be my overriding emotion. Laois were beaten at the quarter-final stage in a game that we definitely could have won. Having said that we certainly made progress this season and have something to build on for 2013.
How much time would you spend per week on individual practice?
At least one hour per week to work on all the technical aspects of my game. Obviously physical conditioning is hugely important at the highest level but having good basic skills is still critical in my opinion.
Winning a Dublin championship with St. Brigids in 2011.
Losing the All-Ireland U21 final to Cork in 2007. They scored a goal at the death to win it.
How do you like to prepare yourself in the lead up to a big championship game?
I keep myself busy and occupied with work. In the evenings I rest up to conserve energy, eat well, listen to music and get myself mentally prepared for the game.
Any hobbies outside of GAA?
I am a big music person so I try to get to concerts whenever I can. I like to attend a few Man United games every season as well, I’m a big fan.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
The best piece of advice I was given is that the players need to take ownership and responsibility of the team themselves. That is hugely important if the group is to be successful.
Biggest influence on your career to date?
Hugh McDonnell my secondary school principal and and my club manager Gerry McEntee.
Any advice for young aspiring County players?
Always focus on the next ball and believe in yourself at all times.