MY SPORTING YEAR - Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise and Laois Senior Footballer)

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MY SPORTING YEAR - Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise and Laois Senior Footballer)

Gareth Dillon in action for Portlaoise. Pic: Alf Harvey.

The 2017 season was a mixed one for Gareth Dillon. He was the Laois Footballer of the Year, an SFC champion, but there was disappointment mixed in too. He will be back in action with Laois in the new year.

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LOOKING BACK

What was your personal highlight of 2017?

- Winning the county final was my personal highlight of 2017. After the heartbreak of the way 2016 ended, getting back on the winners podium was a great feeling.

Did you achieve all you wanted to achieve in 2017?

- No, as is usually the case, certain goals I fell short on, with both Portlaoise and Laois. The great thing about this time of year is you get to jot them down all over again for the upcoming year!

What was your biggest disappointment/regret of 2017?

- The biggest disappointment of the year was losing to Moorefield in the Leinster SFC. The manner in which we lost that game was particularly hard to take, added to by the fact that Vincents were out of the championship.

Who was the toughest opponent you faced in 2017?

- Mark Dempsey (Moorefield) or Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen). Similar in that they're both very athletic and comfortable on the ball.

What was the best sporting event you attended in 2017?

- I'd have to say the Intermediate football final. Although the result didn't go Portlaoise's way, watching some of our younger guys stepping up on the biggest stage was great to see. Also, some of Paul Lawlor's score's that night were of the highest quality.

What sporting event do you wish you could have attended in 2017?

- Probably the Australian Open (Tennis). To see Federer & Nadal in a final once again would have been very special.

Who played the biggest role in helping you to be successful in 2017?

- Emer & my family, they never miss a match! Win,lose or draw, seeing them after a game always puts things into perspective.

Non-Sporting highlight of the year?

- The highlight of the year was getting married on 27 December.

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LOOKING FORWARD

What are your goals/ambitions for 2018?

- Personally for 2018, I'd like to improve further on some of my ball skills and weaker foot in particular (We can't all be Bruno McCormack's!)

What is you biggest fear for 2018?

- My biggest fear is not learning from the mistakes I made in 2017 and repeating them again.

Aside from you/your team, who would you like to see be successful in 2018?

- I'd like to see Mayo be successful. They were so impressive in the latter stages of the championship last year and came agonisingly close once again. It would be hard to deny them an All Ireland medal at this.

What sporting event would you most like to attend in 2018?

- The Masters. There will probably be a strong Irish field and the chance to see Tiger play at Augusta would be incredible.

Who would you say is 'One to Watch' in 2018?

- Frank Flanagan. He has a great attitude and has been getting better every year.

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PREDICTIONS

World Cup

- Spain

All-Ireland Football and Hurling

- Dublin & Tipperary

Laois Senior Football and Hurling?

- Portlaoise & Clough-Ballacolla

Laois Ladies Football and Camogie

- Portlaoise & Camross

6 Nations and European Champions Cup

- Ireland & Leinster.