“Away From Home” With Alex Whelan

Where Alex resides now, Coogee Beach, Sydney. Jealous?

Brief Description of yourself. Any close family, where were you living back home, where are you living now, occupation, where did you go to school etc.

I was born and raised in Pairc Mhuire, I have two brothers and two sisters. I came to Australia in 1988 with my wife Bernadette and 2 daughters Jacqueline and Andria. I am living in the Sydney beachside suburb of Coogee. I am a building contractor renovating heritage and old colonial houses. I went to the boy’s primary school in Newbridge and then the tech.

What teams did you play for?

Newbridge under 12s, 14s, 16s 18s and 21s.moorefield under 16s, 18s, 21s, junior and senior teams. Kildare under 16s, 18s ,21s and senior teams.

Any achievements or accomplishments whilst playing for Moorefield?

Whilst playing with the teams I’ve won Kildare medals at under 12,14 ,16, 18. I have 2 Leinster medals at minor and under 21, all-Ireland runners up at under 21. i also won league medal at senior level with Moorefield.  I captained the senior team for 9 years.

Any favourite managers/coaches when you were playing?

Obviously my father Alex Whelan Sen.  comes into it, but I have to mention Micko Rielly, Jim O Sullivan and Christy White without whom i don’t think we would have survived the so-called bad years.

Do you have any favourite matches or memorable moments about Moorefield?

1975 Moorefield v Sarsfields.  we turned up against a star studded sash team without a chance. we beat them by 2 points thanks mainly to the way Christy White and selectors  picked the team with many of us out of normal positions, which was in hindsight was the catalyst to a famous victory.

An Aerial shot of Coogee Beach

Do you keep up to date with results and news about Moorefield, if so how?

Yes, mainly the web and talking to my da.

Do you currently play or support any club where you are based now?

No not really apart from Moorefield.  I am into the AFL ( Aussie Rules Football)  and also swim quite a lot.

3 things you miss about home?

Family, club and food (sausages, bacon and cabbage).

3 things you don’t miss about home?

Winter, winter and winter.

Who was your GAA hero growing up?

I remember seeing Harry Fay and Paddy Anderson playing and tried to emulate them. At All Ireland level Mattie Mc Donogh was a hero mine (He would have played in the Galway 3 in a row team of the 60s).

With the current economic climate in Ireland, some members of the club might be thinking of emigrating, can you give any advice based on your experiences?

Make sure you get working as soon as you get here, it takes the mind off home and also gets you into a routine.

Finally, any words to send back home to friends and family?

To all the lads, they know who they are, you are doing good work. There will always be a little part of australia forever moorefield.

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