Adam Moynihan speaks to sharpshooting Gaelic footballer Evan Cronin about staying fit, Spa’s senior aspirations, and the critics who are trying to split East Kerry
Hi Evan. How have you been coping with the latest lockdown? Are you staying fit?
Ah yeah, I’m tipping away at home. I have a home gym so I do a good bit there, and I’m doing my 5Ks.
How are the 5Ks going?
Not too bad. Niall Mahony is the man for the 5Ks. He’s the one we’re trying to keep up with. He might be old but he’s still showing us up!
Is it hard to keep the motivation levels high when things are so uncertain?
Yeah, it was grand last year because we were able to do a bit with East Kerry and with Spa, but this lockdown seems that bit harder. The weather is a lot worse, the evenings are a lot shorter, and there’s no real plan for us in place yet. But we just have to keep at it and hopefully we’ll have something to look forward to in the near future.
Spa still have the 2020 intermediate semi-final on the horizon. Are you optimistic that you can win that competition and make the step up to senior?
That’s one thing that makes it easier for us to stay motivated. The intermediate has to be played and we have to be fit for it. Look, we’ve been knocking around the intermediate now for a good few years without really making a good impression on it. We’ll take it one game at a time. We’ve got Castleisland in the semi-final so hopefully we can get over them. Fingers crossed.
If Spa were to get promoted, would it be hard to say goodbye to the East Kerry team?
It actually would be hard. I’ve been with East Kerry since I was 17 years old and I’ve played with all those players for so many years with the Sem and with East Kerry. We have a club atmosphere – everyone’s very close. So it will be hard to say goodbye. But at the end of the day, the greatest honour you can have is to play senior County Championship with your club and that is 100% something that everyone in Spa wants to do. That’s the main thing for us.
What do you make of people who say East Kerry are too strong and the district should be split up?
Yerrah, look, all I’ll say is that East Kerry didn’t win anything for 20 years. No one was talking about East Kerry when we were down in the dumps, losing to Laune Rangers in the first round of the County Championship. We had just as many clubs back then. When you’re on top, there are always people trying to take you down. I wouldn’t take much notice of it.
Where do the 2019 and 2020 County Championship wins rank in your personal list of achievements?
I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved with a couple of great teams. Fierce lucky. The wins with East Kerry, especially 2019, are right up there with the Hogan Cup win with the Sem. They were just two special days. Obviously 2020 was great as well but, because of COVID, there were no fans, so it was weird. We couldn’t have a proper celebration or anything. 2019 was one of the better days of my career, and the better days of my life. Just being with everyone on the pitch after… To break that 20-year duck was something special and I don’t think anything could come near it, unless we do something with Spa. That’s the only thing that could top it.
Okay, change of pace. Here’s your chance to do some slating. Which of your teammates (Spa or East Kerry) never stops complaining?
That’s an easy one anyway. Dara Moynihan. 100%. For Spa and East Kerry. I love him to bits but he’d get on you nerves at times! He’s obviously a great player though and it probably makes him what he is.
Who is the teacher’s pet?
Another easy one. Dan O’Donoghue. All you have to do is ask him why he’s captain for East Kerry. It’s a good story but I’ll leave that for another day.
This is the second or third time I’ve been told to investigate this Dan O’Donoghue captaincy story. I’ll have to get it from the horse’s mouth.
Yeah, it’s an interesting one. That’s a story to go after.
Best at Tinder?
Mike Foley. He claims that he has completed Tinder and he’s after moving on to Hinge.
Who spends the most time in the gym?
James Devane. He’s there two or three times a day. He doesn’t do anything else. If he could marry the gym, he’d be married with a couple of years.
Who would be first on the microphone at karaoke?
It’s a toss-up between Paudie Clifford and Brian O’Donoghue (Stocky). I’ll give it to Stocky because he gives a great rendition of ‘Love, Me’ by Collin Raye.
Are you much of a singer yourself? Which song would you choose if you had to?
I wouldn’t say I’m much of a singer but I’d go with ‘Beeswing’.
Which teammate is most likely to become a club officer?
Shane Cronin. If there’s anything going on in Spa, or anything to be organised, he’s the man behind it. He has a knack for it.
If you could bring back one Spa or East Kerry legend to play alongside, who would it be?
East Kerry is an easy one: Séamus Moynihan. Definitely. He’s an absolute hero and I would’ve loved to have played with him. Spa is more tricky. There are a lot of fellas I could mention. I’m going to go with Pat Cronin Sr. He’s a gentleman off the pitch and I’ve only heard good things about him in terms of football.
And final question: what’s the first thing you’re going to do when the pandemic is over?
Hopefully we’ll get that semi-final played with Spa and we’ll be targeting a final. And one thing I’m mad to do is go out to Darby’s (Torc Hotel) for a pint and a game of pool with the Spa lads.
It will be badly needed. Thanks Evan. All the best.
Not a bother Adam. Thanks very much.