Stephen Banville, Wexford Senior Hurler, talks to Shelmalier GAA Web Page
Stephen, Well done on a brilliant year with the Wexford senior hurlers.
Did you play underage with Wexford?
No I was involved with the minor footballers but never played championship at underage level.
What game did you debut for Wexford Seniors (league) & (championship?)
I made my debut in 2007 in the national league against Clare in Ennis and made my championship debut this year against Dublin in Nolan Park.
What has been your most memorable game?
My first game in Croke Park.
Is playing in Croke Park more memorable than in other venue’s
How do you prepare for such games? How many nights training per week?
We generally trained three or four times collectively a week but you’d always go to the field or the gym on the nights you’re not training to keep sharp.
Did you have to change your training and dieting habits?
Yes very much pizza has gone out the window along with going out for a pint on the weekend!
As the big match approaches what is your routine on match days?
I always get up around 7:30 and eat a bowl of porridge then bring my dog for a walk in Edenvale to relax and stretch the legs out before we get the bus.
Is confidence a major factor for a sportsman?
Its probably the most important factor if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will.
How do you find the Wexford management team?
They’ve been good to me this year and gave me my breakthrough.
What is your family background?
They’re all GAA mad!
How did you become involved with the Shelmalier club?
Peter Walsh got both my Father and I involved with the Shelmaliers.
He gave us no choice if we didn’t turn up he’d be there collecting you! I think Peter was the reason most of us in my age group started playing.
You were also on the football panel for a time, did you enjoy your time with the footballers.
Yes the footballers have great camaraderie and the training was brilliant it was good to be in there with a few other Shel’s men at the time as well but I think it was always going to be hurling for me!
Do you honestly think anyone can really be an effective duel player?
No not in this day and age one code would have to suffer. It’s a pity because there’s a lot of players on both teams who might be good enough to play both.
Does this put a major demand on you time, commitment and you physical welfare?
It does but then what else would I be doing. It’s the greatest opportunity I’ve ever received so I just want to get as much out of it as I can while I’m there.
If not playing GAA, what other sport might you like to have played?
I never really took any other sports seriously to be honest. I suppose I would have tried rugby or maybe some kind of extreme sports!
How do you rate Shels chance this yr in the county championship
I think we have great players in both codes and if we can put it together on the field we can be successful.
Who would be your Sporting hero
Even though he ended his career badly I was always a huge fan of Mike Tyson, when he was at his best he was unbeatable and he had phenomenal aggression and strength.
What part has the Shelmalier club played in your sporting and personal development?
The Shel’s has impacted on every part of my life in a positive way. It’s where I made my best friends and where I learned and still learn to play Hurling and Football.
What advice have you for the young players in the club who wish to follow in your footsteps?
To always keep playing the game and always believe in your own ability.