Next up, to answer some questions in the lead up to this weekends International Shinty/Hurling Game is Newtonmore and Scotland's Mike Russell.
What are your first memories of playing shinty?
One of the first things I remember was getting taught how to hit shies on the lawn at my Nanna & Pappa’s house. I got a biscuit for every one I hit.
Who was your first role model when you were younger and why?
My role model was, and still is, my dad - I’m sure a lot of guys are the same. I grew up with photos and videos of him being involved in the successful teams of the 70’s and 80’s, so I’ve always aspired to reach that level.
What does it mean to you to play for Scotland?
It’s definitely an honour to play for Scotland, not many people get the chance to represent their country. You make sacrifices and commit a lot of time and effort over the season, so it’s a nice way to end the year. You also get to know guys from other clubs better. For example Glen Mackintosh and Lorne Dickie first met at the 2015 International and now go to Butlins together every April.
What advice would you give to younger players who are maybe on the fringes of a senior team?
Put the work in at training. Get in the habit of running beside the fittest players in fitness sessions and play against the best players you can in games. If you do well then people take notice, if you don’t then you’re learning and improving with every session. It’s not easy being on the fringes of a team but you’ve got to stick with it. Nobody walks into a first team without a spell on the fringes. Except Rory Kennedy.
Remember you can still purchase earlybird tickets to Saturdays event. Just follow the link;
Thanks Mike. Best of luck for Saturday.