10 Questions with Ulster College All Star Ryan Owens

16th, December 2015

17 year old Ryan Owens from Lurgan, Co.Armagh gives an insight into the life of a GAA player.

Player Profile

D.O.B - 19/05/1998
Club - Clann Eireann, Lurgan
Height - 5ft 10
Weight - 70kg
Position - Centre half back

Honours Won - U12 Div1 League and Championship x 2, U14 Feile, U16 Div1 League and Championship, Captain McCrory Team 2014/2015, V.C Armagh Minors 2015, Ulster Squad player.

Awards - Ulster College All Star, Player of the Year Clann Eireann, Most Promising Gaelic player in St. Michael’s 2015.

Q1) What is a typical day/week for you?

I get up for school at 7:30 and have some breakfast which is usually scrambled eggs and toast with a banana. During the winter I usually head to Clann Eireann on a Monday night for a gym session. On Tuesdays or Thursday’s I train with the school after classes. Typically, on a Wednesday I try fit in a foam rolling session and Friday is my day off. On a Saturday I’m back training with the school and on Sundays I complete a senior strength and conditioning programme.

Q2) What is your diet like?

I try to limit my intake of sugary, high saturated foods. I’m lucky that my mum is an excellent cook and the majority of the food I eat is made from scratch and not processed. A typical meal will consist of some type of carbs, protein and fats.

Q3) Which things do you currently do in your training that are key to your success?

I think treating pitch sessions like an actual game is a key factor. Also during gym sessions, I always remain focused, pushing my body as far as it will allow me without compromising my technique or form.

Q4) In addition to the group training sessions with your club, school and county, do you put extra time into working on your skills and improving your game?

At home, I would take a bit of time and do my own core work to improve core stability which I feel helps my game. Also when I’m training with Armagh I would stay behind for 10-15 mins and focus on a particular skill eg; kick passing.

Q5) What do you see as the percentage split between work-rate and talent in terms of what it takes to become an inter-county player?

I would probably say a 70:30 ratio. Talent will get you the trial or the opportunity but hard work allows you to stay there and create success. You can always improve on your skills even if naturally you are not that talented. If you work hard and are dedicated enough I think you get to the places where you deserve.

Q6) Who has been the biggest influence on you as a player?

Originally I would say it was my parents as they have always encouraged me to be the best player I could possibly be. But in the last year Aidan O’Rourke has helped change my mind-set as a player and has coached my mental ability as much as my physical.

Q7) What was the best advice you were ever given?

Hard work will beat talent, when talent doesn’t, work hard.

Q8) If you could revisit any one moment in your football career to date and go back and change it, what moment would you choose?

The Minor County Final 2015. I would love to go back and win it as I felt we left it behind us that day. It was extremely disappointing but I don’t believe in regret, you can only take the negatives from a game and turn it into something positive for the future.

Q9) What 3 people alive or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Mohammed Ali, Conor McGregor, Christiano Ronaldo.

Q10) What goals have you set yourself for 2016?

Individually, I want to have the best season to date, playing a crucial part in both club, school and county success. With my club, Clann Eireann I would love to win the league and championship double and go on to represent Armagh in the St.Pauls (Ulster) tournament. With regards Armagh, I want to go and win the Ulster Minor Championships 2016, having been so close this year and to win the All Ireland Minor Championship would be a dream come true. 

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