AIB were joined today by inter-county footballers past and present to launch its new content series The Drive as part of its sponsorship of the 2022 GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

The Drive, which is hosted by comedian Ardal O’Hanlon, delves behind the scenes into the reality of life as an inter-county player and brings to light their journey as players and the commitment required from them to succeed in the modern game.

It also looks deeper into what drives them to pull on the jersey year after year and dedicate hours of unseen training to the game they love.

Season after season, inter-county footballers return to the training ground on dark January nights, putting in the hard yards early in the season – the rewards of which are often only seen on the sunny days of Championship football.

However, many players have little chance of getting their hands on the famous Sam Maguire cup, let alone provincial silverware. For many footballers, after a gruelling county season, they return home, expected to lead their clubs to county glory and chase #TheToughest title of all as the days shorten once more.

The new series, which kicks off next week, will feature Tyrone shot-stopper, Niall Morgan in Episode One.

Tyrone’s goalkeeper since 2013, Morgan will give an insight into what fueled him and his teammates on their journey to the promised land, which saw The Red Hand lay claim to their first Sam Maguire in 13 years.

Morgan – now in his ninth year on the Tyrone panel talks about the reality of juggling day-to-day life with GAA commitments – including how tough it can be to deal with criticism on social media from a vocal fanbase.

 

The series will also feature Galway defender Seán Mulkerrin, who, despite recurring injuries and long journeys from his home of Inis Mór, has kept his place on Padraic Joyce’s squad, in a season which saw the Tribesman unseat long-time rivals Mayo in their quest for provincial glory.

Kilmacud Crokes’ talisman Paul Mannion will also be in the hot seat, as he looks back on a career which saw the 28-year-old win seven Leinster titles and six Celtic Crosses for Dublin while leading the line in Crokes’ hunt for the Andy Merrigan Cup.

Wrapping up the series will be up-and-coming Kerry star, Stefan Okunbor, who – after a couple of seasons spent Down Under with Geelong Cats – will be looking to make his mark on his return to the Kingdom as Jack O’Connor’s men ready themselves for one more charge at Sam Maguire.

AIB is now in its eighth year as sponsors of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch AIB Chief Executive Colin Hunt emphasised the importance of this year’s GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship: “Like the GAA, AIB is deeply embedded in communities across the country. We have always been extremely proud of our association with the GAA and are delighted to be launching ‘The Drive’ today.”

“Over the last three decades of our partnership with the GAA, we have seen firsthand the incredible dedication and perseverance displayed by players season after season.”

“Their commitment to represent club and county is a testament to themselves, their families and their communities. They, along with their supporters nationwide and we in AIB are all looking forward to another thrilling few weeks of championship action.”

“AIB, as one of our longest-standing partners, has continued to deliver unwavering support to our organization and incredible commitment to the development of Gaelic Games,” added GAA President Larry McCarthy.

“Through their sponsorship of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, they have brought to life the bond between the GAA and the wider community, and this has already been on display this summer, ​through the Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cups.”

“We look forward to seeing more pulsating matches, skilful football, and raw desire on display as counties battle to lift the Sam Maguire and, for the first time, the Tailteann Cup. We are sure that AIB will bring the 2022 GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship to the forefront, celebrating the dedication and perseverance of the players and the unwavering support of fans ​around the globe.”

 

 

Sport for Business Partners