Cian Lynch has gone back to his roots. The Limerick hurler is on a two-week teaching practice placement at Ardscoil Rís in Limerick.
It's where he went to a school, and where he won two Harty Cups. On the walls sit reminders of his teenage years.
"I had a few bad haircuts back in the day, so it's hard to look at!" says Lynch, the PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month for August.
"We had a few great days on the sporting field inside, and through the musicals and TY dramas. It's nice being able to look back. It only feels like yesterday, but it's a long time ago.
"It's different from the last time I was here. I'm up at the top of the class, rather than down the back."
7 September 2021; PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month Award for August, Cian Lynch of Limerick, with his award at Patrickswell GAA Club in Barnakyle, Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
The 25-year-old is in the second year of a Masters in Education at NUI Galway. He did a placement at Castletroy College last year and will do another after Christmas before he hits the home stretch of his masters.
"I went a roundabout way of going into it," says Lynch about why he chose teaching.
It's something that I looked at down through the years, being able to be a guide or influence on young males or females in life. There is a lot of social pressures out there with social media or social conformity where you have to do certain things or have to look a certain way.
I'd love to be able to give a student a different outlook on things, get that whole notion of perspective about realising what's really important in life, and enjoying the little things.
I was once a young fella as well! We had the initial beginnings of social media towards our end of secondary school. Everyone now seems to be on social media.
Just to be aware of the implications of it, and the effects it can have. Just to let students, and kids in general, ensure they enjoy everything that they are doing. Whether it's sport, whether it's learning or whatever it might be. I hope to be able to do that.
The Patrickswell man was key to the win, scoring six points, and - even more impressively - assisting 2-5.
"I just wouldn't back myself to score!" he jokes when it's suggested he appears to take more pleasure from providing an assist than taking a score.
"I came into the panel in 2015 and things mightn't have gone our way in 2016 and 2017. So, I saw where your backs might be against the wall, and now we're after winning an All-Ireland final this year.
"It's just about appreciation, and I always harp on about it. For any youngster growing up, you're going to have disappointments, you're going to have days when things aren't going your way and you mightn't be feeling the greatest or you mightn't be in the form for training or school or homework, but just keep going.
"Keep looking at those things you're grateful for and thankful for. I suppose that's my personal way of looking at life presently. Just being able to get up in the morning and get up out of bed and attack the day is an absolute gift.
"I remember many years ago, there was a quote I was told. It was 'Hard work beats talent, if talent doesn't work hard'. It's something that we all want to live by in life in general, whether it's in work, in college, in school, or on the sporting field for any young girl or boy. It's just to work hard, push yourself in everything you do; try not to just settle for what you have today, try to work hard, so you might push yourself on for tomorrow."
16 November 2011; Cian Lynch, Ardscoil Rís, Limerick, in action against Pa Callaghan, Charleville CBS, Cork. Munster Colleges Hurling Dr. Harty Cup at Bruff, Co. Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Many of the Limerick panel have been on a journey which started long before their senior All-Ireland success. Lynch was part of a Limerick minor team which lost an All-Ireland final to Kilkenny in 2014, and one which won an U21 title the following year.
"There's a bond," says Lynch.
"A lot of us grew up together. Ardscoil Rís, a great school, a lot of us came through there. Outside of that, we played on underage teams together. We played underage club games against each other. We build relationships and build bonds. When your peers are all doing the same thing, you want to keep driving on with them. I think that's probably what it is.
"I suppose we've been our own little family the last two years. With regards Covid, you'd be very selfish outside of the set-up if you're going to meet people outside the group. You just have to be very careful, not because of yourself, but because you care about everyone else in the team and panel."