Kilkenny’s Canice Picklington talks exclusively to thefreekick.com about what makes the man behind the face mask.
Tell us a bit about yourself Canice:
Ah there wouldn’t really be too much to tell now. I’m a hurling man, I suppose.
Tell us a bit about your family then:
Ah yeah, myself and Rachel have been married for five years now. We’re very happy with what we have. Rachel goes out to a neighbour’s house in the evenings a lot. She doesn’t tell me what she’s doing but sure I suppose everybody is entitled to their little secrets. That gives me time to stay at home and mind our three kids, Harry, Chloe and Canice Junior when I’m not training.
Do you enjoy music?
I like a bit of Coldplay. They’re a very good band. The Script as well, it’s good to see an Irish band doing well as it’s good for the country. And of course U2.
Have you any hobbies?
Hurling I suppose. 'Tis difficult to get time to do much else. I like to relax by watching a bit of television. Grey’s Anatomy is very good. I love films as well. The Shawshank Redemption especially, I have a DVD of it. I’ve seen it ten times now. Brian Cody gave me a lend of Nightmare on Elm Street but I haven’t seen it yet. It’s supposed to be very good.
What do you work at?
I work inside in the city selling insurance. It’s important to have insurance as you can never be too careful about things that can happen. I’d help out the odd time at my father TJ’s farm as well. My brothers Walter, Henry, Julian and PJ help out too. Keeps you grounded. The job is good because they give me a car. It’s a silver Toyota Yaris. Rachel has a silver Yaris too. It’s a lovely car.
What’s your favourite colur?:
Jeez, that’s a good question. I suppose I’d have to say black or amber because they’re the Kilkenny colours. Although I like green as well because it reminds me of the green grass of a hurling pitch.
Do you follow any other sports?:
Ah, I wouldn’t have much time now, I suppose, but I’d watch the odd rugby match. I like to see the Irish teams do well as it’s good for the country.
Do you take an interest in politics?
Ah I wouldn’t have any strong views, I suppose, although I’ve great time for our local TDs here, and I’d always be willing to help out if Phil Hogan or John McGuinness needed a bit of a hand. Phil is a good hurling man and I’d never see him stuck. He was talking to me recently about the European referendum which is coming up in a couple of months and asked if I’d be able to say a few words in support of it for a video the government is putting together. I don’t really know very much about it, but I was glad to say yes, as it’s very important for the country, I suppose.
I’ve been sounded out about carrying the torch for the Commonwealth Games when it passes through Kilkenny in a couple of years time. I’d like to do that as it sounds interesting. The Queen was a very nice woman too when I met her last year. I’m always happy to help out in any way I can.
Have you any superstitions on match day?
Ah yeah, I suppose I’d always go to mass, like. Even though I’m a Protestant, I always like to go to mass as it’s good luck.
What’s the toughest match you’ve ever played?
Definitely any of the A v B games in training. Savage intensity, like.
Tell us a bit about the rest of the Kilkenny team:
Ah, I couldn’t say too much about them, but they’re all a great bunch of lads. There’d be some fierce characters I suppose. Welshy, Taggy, Cha and Jackie are all a good laugh and we have the craic together. People say we’re dull but I can tell you that’s definitely not the case. I mean I like to have the craic as much as anybody. I mean I had four pints on the Tuesday afternoon after the All-Ireland this year. I mean you have to appreciate those days because they don’t come around too often.
What do you think of people who say that Kilkenny are the greatest team of all-time?
Ah that’s not up to me to say, I suppose. 'Tis nice to get a bit of praise, but you can’t let it go to your head. We know the bitter pain of defeat as much as anybody after losing to Cork in 1999. I suppose that’s what drives us on. I mean you’re only as good as your last game. There’s always teams who have the ability to beat you. Like, any time we play Wexford it’s always a 50-50 game. Offaly too. Dublin have improved an awful lot. I suppose every game is 50-50. We don’t have any time to think about it anyway as we have the club championship now which I know all the lads will aiming to give a right go.
Ah, sure no prolem at all. Any time, apart from when it’s not the week after an All-Ireland.