Getting a grip
“I would love to be more productive outside of training.”
WHILE most secondary school teachers are free and easy during the summer months, Anthony Nash can only think of the next match. A teacher at Mitchelstown CBS boys school, the Cork intercounty hurling goalkeeper will be staying close to home.
“I’m not able to go on holidays during the summer because of matches and training,” says the 32-year-old. “But I’m making use of the rest— my commute to work is 45 minutes each way.”
He also appreciates having more time at home. To accommodate his training schedule during term time, two to threedays a week he will leave for work at 7.30am, not getting home until 10pm.
His partner Natalia is from Poland — “my Polish is terrible” — and their son Luke is 13 months old. “It’s a fantastic change to life,” he says of fatherhood. Luke has a hurley and sliotar but it’s just for fun. “Whatever he wants to do sportswise, there’s no problem. And if he has no interest in sport, that’s no problem too. I want him to be happy.”
I Anthony Nash is an ambassador for Lloyds Pharmacys’ Get to Grips with Diabetes campaign
What shape are you in? I play in goal, so, obviously, I wouldn’t be as active during games as outfield players, so I have to try pick up extra sessions when possible to watch my fitness and weight. I’m very lucky, we have a great fitness team with Cork [GAA]. I try to stay in good shape throughout the year.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I try to eat well every day. Unfortunately, I find it easy to pile on the pounds so I monitor my carbohydrate intake. When I have time, I make healthy breakfasts. I love eggs and make omelettes when time allows. Porridge is one thing I fit in most days.
What are your guiltiest pleasures?
Anything unhealthy. Burgers, pizzas, the list goes on. I don’t eat these in season — I have to say that in case my coach reads this — but in the off season, I find it harder to say no.
What would keep you awake at night?
My son Luke most nights. I love to sleep, but sometimes I find it hard to unwind after a game when your mind is still racing or thinking about how it went. I could find myself having a staring competition with the ceiling at two or three in the morning.
How do you relax? Golf. I absolutely love playing it. I find it difficult to fit it in as much as I would like to because I wouldn’t play too close to matches. I find it is the best way to unwind and get away from hurling. Unfortunately, with the weather we have, the season is short so I try to get out as much as possible.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? I am a big Manchester United fan and I’d love to meet and talk with Sir Alex Ferguson.
The success he has had in soccer and the stories he must have gathered over the years would be brilliant to hear.
What’s your favourite smell? I love the smell of fresh cut grass. It is also a sign that good weather is around and summer is near.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
I think most people accept the way they are and get on with it. When you are younger you might wish to change things, but after a while, people learn to accept what you have.
When is the last time you cried?
This is the time to try to be macho and say I never do. But I was lucky to have had a son and when he was born would have been a time where I did.
What traits do you least like in others?
What traits do you least like about yourself?
Outside of sport, sometimes I can get lazy, the couch becomes very appealing and hours go by. I love watching sports on television and can spend too much time watching them. I would love to be more productive in my time off outside of training.
Do you pray? I was very lucky to be raised in a religious house and both sides of my family have strong religious beliefs. I don’t pray as much as I should, but I do so occasionally. I bless myself before I put on a jersey and say a quick prayer before I go on the pitch. I am also lucky to have grandparents who say enough prayers during the games to cover any I have missed.
What would cheer up your day?
I love going on holidays, I love sunshine and relaxing in warm weather. We, unfortunately, don’t get enough here in Ireland. I love going for a coffee with friends or family.
BALANCING ACT: Cork senior hurler Anthony Nash with a bag of sugar on his hurley is an ambassador for Lloyd’s Pharmacies’ Get to Grips with Diabetes campaign.