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Damien Casey: 'We all need the support of those around us and in this climate I'm more aware of it'

 

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Damien Casey

Damien Casey

�INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritcha

Damien Casey

Damien Casey

�INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Damien Casey

We are asking our sporting personalities how they are dealing with action coming to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected their daily lives.

Today, we speak to Tyrone hurler Damien Casey who has been his county's highest scorer in recent years and is regarded as one of the best finishers in Ulster.

Q: How are you keeping?

A: I am in good form but I don't take my health for granted. I try to look after myself as best I can by taking things in my stride.

Q: How have you been affected?

A: I am a sales executive with CRJ Services and my territory includes Ireland and Scotland, so as you would imagine I am normally on the road quite a lot. At the moment I am on furlough which means that I am not just logging up as many miles. We sell and hire a range of different equipment, relative mostly to recycling, and this certainly keeps me on my toes.

While I am not travelling quite as much at the minute, I am rarely idle as I am usually roped in to help out on the family farm near Dungannon. There is no doubt that the coronavirus has had a massive impact on the lives of many people and I'm just grateful to be able to earn my living in the current circumstances.

Q: How are you keeping fit?

A: I go for runs on my own but I also try to get in some shooting practice whenever I can. I have been the Tyrone free-taker for some years now but even though I have managed to rack up scores, I never take anything for granted. Practice makes perfect and I'm still aiming for perfection.

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Damien Casey

Damien Casey

�INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Damien Casey

 

Q: How are you maintaining morale, yours and the team?

A: I have a fairly positive outlook on life overall and even though Tyrone are not doing any collective training at the moment, I still keep in touch with the lads. We try to keep each other upbeat, focusing on the progress that we think we might be able to make down the line in the Allianz League and Nicky Rackard Cup - assuming these competitions are completed, that is. This gives us something to aim for and helps to keep spirits up.

Q: Where are you drawing your personal strength from now?

A: I take great heart from the courage and commitment that is being shown by those on the front-line of the National Health Service and I also derive comfort from the way in which so many people have faced up to the agonising problems which the virus has created for them. They show a wonderful example to the rest of us and we should absorb this lesson.

Q: Sports fans are staying at home, too. Can you recommend a book, film or box set you think they might enjoy?

A: After Clare broke the mould by winning the All-Ireland Hurling Championship in 1995 and 1997, Anthony Daly, their captain in those two epic games, brought out a riveting autobiography entitled 'Dalo' and I would recommend it to anyone, even if they have no interest in hurling, because of its honesty and passion.

I think that 'The Wolf of Wall Street' is a fascinating film that can hold the viewer spellbound while 'Game of Thrones' just has to be an absorbing box set.

Q: What life lessons are you learning from this?

A: I think it has made me appreciate my family even more. When you are on the road a lot in terms of work and playing, you sometimes find yourself making sacrifices but I have learned to link up with my family more. We all need the support of those around us in leading our normal daily lives and in the current climate I have come to be more aware of this.

Q: What is the first thing you will do when all this is over?

A: I can't wait to get linking up with my Tyrone colleagues again for collective training and a drink in the pub afterwards. I miss the banter and the craic.

Q: Have you a message for Tyrone supporters?

A: Yes, I would like to ask them to keep an eye out for any rescheduled fixtures there might be and then come and give us your support. We are in the lap of the gods at the minute but hopefully we will get to see some action sooner rather than later.

Belfast Telegraph