April 03, 1992
Name: Bill Maher
Date of birth: 27-10-'66
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 13 stone
Honours: Most County Underage honours with my club, also All-Ireland Under 15 Vocational Schools medal with Rathdowney.
Inter-county debut: Against Kilkenny in a League game at Nowlan Park back in 1986.
Place of employment: Teacher at Arklow Community College.
Toughest opponent: I would hate to give any full forward a psychological advantage next time out, but I would have to say that Christy Heffernan provided me with the greatest amount of problems over the years.
Favourite grounds: Rathdowney
Favourite position: Full back
Sporting ambition: To win a Leinster Senior Hurling Championship in the near future and also help my club to regain the Laois Senior Championship.
Do you play any other sports: Squash, although not at a competitive level.
Boyhood heroes: Ger Henderson of Kilkenny.
Favourite player: Pat Fox
Biggest influence on career: All the coaches in the Underage section of the Rathdowney club. I would hate to single out any individual.
Ways of improving the game: More Underage coaching.
Dislikes about the G.A.A.: I do not feel Croke Park help out the clubs enough. For instance, there should be much more pressure put on the Government to drop the VA.T. from hurleys.
Best game seen: The Galway - Tipperary final of 1988. I was working in America at the time, but had to admire the defensive displays of both teams.
Players with a promising future: Declan Rooney from Clonaslee who is only 19 but who has created a big impression at midfield for Laois. He had a great game against Tipp.
The Tipperary County Board stated that the Rathdowney ground was capable of only holding 2,000 people: I think that the entire thing was blown out of all proportions. Admittedly, weather conditions for the Laois - Tipperary game were bad and the attendance was only 3,000 people. The grounds contained this crowd comfortably and is equipped to cater for 5,000 people.
Has new Manager, Paddy Doyle, changed the Laois approach: Paddy's big advantage coming to the County was that he did not know about Laois hurling But he restructured the thing, put down new objectives and has got a very good response.
Laois is a small County and it is divided down the line between both hurling and football Can you ever achieve Championship success at either grade: Of course we can, and for an example all we have to is look at neighbouring Offaly.
What of 1992: Well, it has started well. We have some outstanding hurlers and have the ideal blend of youth and experience. Let others ignore us at their own peril
Best game played in: Last year's Championship clash against Wexford
Tell us about your club - Rathdowney: Although we have a Junior football team Rathdowney is basically a hurling club and while we have not won a County Championship at Senior level since 1942, we top the list in Laois with 18 Senior titles after our name. We have a grand pitch with great facilities. Also, our Underage section is very active and with men like Bill Herrahill and John Curran looking after the Juveniles there is surely a bright future for Rathdowney.
Your pitch in Rathdowney has come in for an amount of criticism lately: Yes, and I think most was put across very unfairly.
Laois are hard to beat there: The only advantage Rathdowney offers the Laois hurlers is that, at the moment, it is very much a home venue for us. We have played practically all our games there over the past two years and it is right in the middle of the Laois hurling area. Our last two games against Limerick and Tipperary were in Rathdowney and the fact that we played well on both occasions had a lot more to do with ability, fitness, management etc.
At the moment you are living, in Wicklow. Could we ever see you in the other blue jersey: No. At the moment all my attention is devoted to my native county.
Taken from Hogan Stand magazine Date: 3rd April 1992
Most Read Stories