Team: Arranmore United
If you were throwing a party and you could invite anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you ask around? Bill Murray. Legend.
Where do you like to go out to celebrate after a big victory?
Early’s bar, Arranmore. That should get me a few free pints at the weekend. (There’s a first time for everything!)
What’s the worst pitch you’ve ever played on?
Central Park, Keadue is the worst pitch in the Rosses without a doubt. No offence, Ben Boyle!
Which character in any film are you most like? Johnny Lawrence (The real karate kid).
Any odd items in your kit bag?
Nothing out of the ordinary in my kit bag. A few of the lads (My wee brother, Chris and Frankie Rua Early) take it in turns to bring hair dryers and straighteners with them to every game. Don’t think you’d find that in too many kit bags around the country.
Who’s the biggest joker in the team you play for?
Frankie Rua Early. He’s fond of the one-liners. I’m not really supposed to share this but I’ll do it anyway, Frankie has a tradition that after the last game of the season he does his Beyonce, ‘’Single Ladies’’ song and dance routine in the dressing room. After four years of doing it he really has it perfected.
Which team mate has the best looking other half?
Frankie Rua Early’s ‘American Beauty’, as he calls her, is a bit of a stunner in fairness to him.
Who is the worst trainer?
Declan Proctor. He always pulls up with a phantom calf or thigh strain right before the start of sprints and he’s always complaining that the training gear is hanging off him. It’s tough when you’re only 5’4”.
Who spends most time in front of the mirror in the dressing room?
Przemek Turski. He won’t leave the dressing room until he perfects his ‘Polish Quiff’.
Who’s the best/worst person to sit beside on the team bus?
Joe Coll, the assistant gaffer/waterboy/magic sponge holder/cheerleader is both the best and worst. If you’re in the mood for having the craic then he’s your man.If you’re not in the mood for it then you’re in for a long trip. Just does not stop talking.
Who has the best and who has the worst diet on the team, and what does it include?
Declan Proctor sticks to a strict healthy diet that mostly consists of protein shakes and rabbit food. Conor Proctor, on the other hand, sticks to what he calls ‘The four Ps diet’ – pizza, pints and Pukka Pies.
Toughest opponent you have faced? Shane Duffy
Best or worst quote you’ve heard, either from a manager, player, opponent?
Before a youth cup match once: ‘Cup ties are a strange affair, you could be 3-1 down one minute and up 4-0 the next.’
Best manager you’ve ever played under?
Tough one. Played under a lot of good managers. Learned a lot playing under Paddy Foy with the Donegal schoolboys and with Niall McGonagle at Finn Harps. Pat Ward at Dungloe Town gave me the chance to play underage football when it wasn’t possible on the island due to the lack of numbers. Developed a lot under his management there and owe a lot to him.
Best ever performance?
Probably not the most significant game I’ve ever played in, but l always remember playing a friendly at u16 for Arranmore against Dungloe Town. I scored five goals on a good friend of mine, Chris McGlynn, who was playing in nets for Dungloe. He still hasn’t lived that one down the poor fella.
One to forget?
All-Ireland u-16 final, Donegal v Waterford. Great team but we just never got going on the day.
When you were playing in the back garden, who did you pretend to be?
Ruud van Nistelrooy, United legend. Or Eric Djemba-Djemba, another legend.
If you were in charge of transfers who’d be in and who’d be out of the team?
I would have to bring back an Arranmore legend who is playing with Swilly Rovers at the minute, Daniel O’Donnell. Would ship Frankie Rua Early out. Sick of him.
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.