Roscommon's Enda Smith on the emotional speech to the panel about his brother's illness

It's a moment that features in AIB's fly-on-the-wall documentary and he spoke to Nathan about it

BY Raf Diallo 20:30 Thursday 19 October 2017, 20:30 19 Oct 2017

These day, one doesn't get as much of a window into an inter-county dressing room but a fly-on-the-wall documentary series by AIB has lifted the lid on the dynamics within the Roscommon senior setup. 

It came in a year of epic ups and downs from a difficult Allianz League campaign, winning a first Connacht title in seven years and then clashing with neighbours Mayo in a pulsating All Ireland quarter final before succumbing to a heavy defeat in the replay at Croke Park.

One of the most powerful moments in the documentary series comes when midfielder Enda Smith stands up in front of the squad during a motivational meeting about what it means to play for Roscommon, offering his very personal story about his 28 year old brother Cian who had been diagnosed with throat cancer a few years ago. Making that speech is clearly an emotional moment for Smith as exemplified by the clip in the documentary series.

The Boyle club man joined Nathan in studio to talk about the experience of being involved in the documentary series as a team and that moment when he spoke about the motivation of striving at inter-county level for his brother, who is now involved in coaching.

Roscommon's Enda Smith and Donal Vaughan of Mayo ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

"All the lads would have known that my brother was sick. I suppose it wouldn't be a thing that you'd discuss at training but that concept that Kevin [McStay] brings in when you tell a bit about yourself, it's all about stuff that people don't know about you," he said.

"So I was up that day and I was a 22 year old and it was mostly some of the older lads who were doing it and had great stories about travelling or work and everything. So I'm standing up here, preparing a couple of days before it, '22, right, I've been to school, I've been to college, I play football, everyone else has done that, I need something just to kind of...' and then at the end of it, he wants you to kind of give your perspective on why do you do all the training and why do you want to play for Roscommon. I was hemming and hawing to be honest about whether I'd do it or not because I want to get it right. 

"I wasn't sure how it would click with lads and how it would come across. But obviously, in the end I decided I'd do it and would have practiced it. I started into it and that was very early in the clip in the first episode when I'm choking up and in fairness, I did think it did hit a chord with lads. There were a lot of lads kind of in the same or similar situation teary-eyed and it did hit hard with lads and Kevin said it after that, 'That's real stuff, lads, that's going to be great to draw on now in two weeks time'".

In the full interview, Smith also discussed Roscommon's progress as they try to bridge a gap to the side's ahead of them and the road to the Nestor Cup and an All Ireland series. 

All episodes are available to view on www.youtube.com/aib and AIB’s Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.

For exclusive content and behind the scenes action from AIB’s “Behind The Gates” follow AIB GAA on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and facebook.com/AIBGAA and www.aib.ie/gaa.

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