Over the past few years Gearóid Hegarty has become one of Limerick's best hurlers of all time. The 28-year-old has won four All-Ireland titles in the past five years and he also has two All-Stars to his name, with a third one likely coming his way later this month.
Although the inter-county season is over and the Limerick Club Championship in full flow, Hegarty still has time for another sport.
At the weekend, Aisling Annacotty's Junior D soccer team beat Athlunkard 11-0 and who was it that scored a hat trick from centre midfield? Gearóid Hegarty.
Our Junior Ds got back to winning ways with a big win over Athlunkard this morning. Goalscorers were Manni Ajuong, Gearoid Hegarty, Jason Lipper, Gavin Byrnes and Ayoowula Lasile pic.twitter.com/IdK0xAVkRX
— Aisling Annacotty AFC (@aislingannafc) September 4, 2022
Gearóid Hegarty and his soccer career
Life long friend of Gearóid Hegarty, Ryan Harris is the manager of Aisling Annacotty AFC Junior D Team and spoke to Balls.ie about Hegarty's involvement at the club.
Speaking about the Limerick hurler's soccer ability and how him lining out for the side's Junior D side came about, Harris said:
Myself and Gearóid are kind of childhood friends, we're both the same age. My dad managed the team when we were six and Gearóid started with the club then. He played up until he was about 13, maybe a bit older. So I just took over (as manager). It's literally just a group of friends playing, it's nothing hectic.
We were very successful last year. We won the league and the cup but obviously, he had to stop playing in November when the hurling came back.
I took over the team four years ago, it's only a Junior D team, I'd say this is his fourth year. He loves playing from August to like November every year.
Diarmuid Hegarty, brother of Gearóid and member of the Limerick U20 panel is also on the team.
His brother Diarmuid is actually playing with us as well. He was on the Limerick U20s last year. It was the first time that they had actually played together at Junior level yesterday, which was great.
Ryan certainly has an athletic and talented group at his disposal and this was reflected in their 11-0 victory at the weekend.
We won 11-0. He scored three and assisted four in a hour like. He had a hat trick scored in the first half.
Despite Hegarty playing a huge role in Limerick dominating the hurling scene over the past number of years, he isn't immune to some stick from opposition players on the soccer pitch.
People on the other team give him a bit of friendly stick as well. The goalkeeper said to him 'Go away back to Croke Park' with himself at the match yesterday.
It's certainly a Junior D soccer team that other clubs around Limerick would want to avoid, but it's fantastic to see the split season allowing players to continue with other sports and playing with lifelong friends and teammates.
Hegarty seems to be a regular scorer for the side when involved in the team, and his aerial ability must cause havoc for other teams.
Gearóid Hegarty on the GAA split season
Speaking last month at a media roundtable event for the PWC All-Stars, Hegarty spoke about how the split season allows him to also get involved in football for his local side.
That's my whole point around the split season and I know that there's negatives associated with it, but look at all the positives in brings. You know when the season is over you have to go back to the club, but I suppose the club isn't as intense for me personally. But again when you've a break with the club and it's football week, you've a chance to maybe play another sport. You might have a chance to go play golf or soccer.
The St. Patrick's man is not only a very accomplished hurler and capable soccer player. Prior to his hurling career, Hegarty played for the Limerick senior footballers between 2014 and 2017. He has also previously played rugby for Richmond RFC.
Back in 2019, Gearóid Hegarty was awarded Castletroy Golf Club's Golfer of the Year award after some impressive rounds during the year.
Aisling Annacotty AFC and their former players
On another note, former Aisling Annacotty player John Ryan joined Serie A outfit Sassuolo from UCD last week.
Congratulations to former Aisling Annacotty player, John Ryan, on joining Italian 🇮🇹 Serie A Team Sassuolo. John has also played for Ireland 🇮🇪 underage teams over the last few years. The Club is very proud of his achievements 👏 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/ryOMmkDtI0
— Aisling Annacotty AFC (@aislingannafc) September 1, 2022
The 18-year-old impressed for the League of Ireland Premier Division side throughout the campaign, leading to him becoming the seventh young Irish man to leave for Italy in recent times.
The Limerick club also produced Burnley and Ireland youth international Dara Costelloe through their academy. Costelloe has already featured five times for Vincent Kompany's side this campaign.