With the big game tomorrow, we finish our interviews with lineman Bartholomew. Team Irelands U20s take on USA AFW Elite Team at the National Sports Campus in Dublin, kick off scheduled for 1pm. Admission is free, be sure to get down and see the next generation of football stars in Ireland!
You joined the Cowboys after a successful recruitment campaign within the local schools in Co. Armagh, what was it attracted you to try out for the Cowboys and what made you fall in love with the sport?
“I joined the Cowboys after an open day at the SRC in Banbridge. I decided to give it a try after talking to Conrad Smith, he really made it sound like this sport is for me and that there is a position for everyone, and he was right!”
You played in the Cowboys Junior team that won the Championship in 2015, what was so special about that squad that seen you pick up the medals?
“I got an opportunity to play with the Cowboys Junior squad for the 2015 season which was my first year of playing. 2015 was really special to me as it was the year I was introduced to football and when I found my passion for football. Most importantly it was the year that the Cowboys Junior team became the junior champions of Ireland which was a great honour.”
You will be making the step up this season to Senior Kitted football with the Cowboys, how has that been in pre-season so far and what do you expect from your first Senior season?
“This year I'm stepping up to senior kitted football, I think I'm ready for it as junior football got me well prepared for it. I'm a Cowboy with all my heart and I believe that this team can achieve great things. I truly believe that this year we have great squad full of new blood and talent, who have every chance of being successful.”
If you were given the task of encouraging someone to try out for the Cowboys and give American Football a go, what would you say?
“If I had the chance to encourage anyone to play football I would do it by saying you can achieve great things like my team and I have. And also it doesn't matter what size are you are - big or small, football is for everyone, it all just depends on your love for the game.”
Team Ireland Juniors, how much of an honour is it to be picked in the squad of the best young players in Ireland?
“2016 was a great honour being named a defensive captain with the Cowboys but being selected for Team Ireland U20s is the biggest honour to give to any player in any sport as it is the very top level. Thinking of this is overwhelming sometimes but I can promise everyone that on the 8th April I will give all I have to help my team win the game.”