Cork star Seán Óg Ó'hAilpín has spoken out about his beginnings in hurling, telling how he resented the sport when he first moved to Ireland.
RTÉ's documentary The Game detailed the origins of hurling and featured many players talking about their beginning in the sport.
Ó'hAilpín was "from a unique family". His father was Irish but his mother was born in Fiji and he spent a lot of his early childhood in Australia.
"My dad tells me that he's from Ireland but like to be honest now, Ireland to me at that stage might as well be in between Jupiter and Saturn," says the former wing-back.
Ó'hAilpín says moving to Cork proved difficult and he has opened up about the struggles he faced.
"I came to Cork in 1988. At that stage, I was 11 years of age, and I mean this with the greatest respect - I found hard to get identity or acceptance because of my different looks and my different background," Ó'hAilpín told said on The Game.
"I mean I, jokingly, look back. They couldn't even get my mum's country right.
"They'd always refer to 'that guy, yeah. That guy Seán Ó'hAilpín. Isn't his mom from the Philippines or something like that?'"
"Above religion the only language that people in Cork speak is hurling.
"You soon realise that when you go around the corridors of the North Mon, you see winning photographs of past teams.
"So not alone that, locally they were all going practising their hurling games and then there I was, like. Stuck in the middle of the green with no one to play with.
"I had no option but to...look if you want to hang around with the kids you got to do what they're doing.
According to Ger Loughnane, speaking on the same programme being a late starter puts you at a disadvantage and "a late starter is anybody after six years of age really in hurling."
Ó'hAilpín was certainly a late starter in that regard.
"I start off, naturally enough, a fella that hasn't played hurling at 11 years of age. You're red raw. Useless," says the now 41-year-old.
"My life in Ireland changed when I started playing hurling.
"As soon as I wore the black and amber jersey (of Na Piarsaigh) playing hurling, the community accepted me as one of them.
"So overnight I went from 'isn't he the guy where the mom is from the Philippines or Vietnam' to 'yeah, that's the kid that's from Parkdale, Parklands, Commons Road. He plays for us U12s'."
"Even though hurling has meant a lot of things to me since. I always refer to that point.
"Because it ties in with the greatest human need. It's to be loved and to be accepted."
Ó'hAilpín, of course, didn't stay useless for long. He went on to win All-Ireland Hurling Championships in 1999, 2004 and 2005, captaining the '05 team that also won the Munster title.
On top of his five Munster hurling titles, he also won a Munster Football Championship in 1999.
In 2004, Ó'hAilpín was crowned Hurler of the Year on top of picking up three All-Star awards in '03, '04 and'05.
After the show aired, many were moved and impressed with honesty Ó'hAilpín displayed.
Really moving from Seán Óg, I’ve never heard him tell it like that before. And it still seems raw. Looking forward to part II #theGame— Sinead O'Carroll (@SineadOCarroll) July 30, 2018
Many opinions & theories abound about what can be done to improve the emotional health & wellbeing of the Irish nation and its people. I think the great Séan Óg O hAilpín captures it wonderfully tonight on #thegame “The greatest human need..is to be loved and is to be accepted” pic.twitter.com/Kv1HYpaISw— Conor Cusack (@Conor14Cusack) July 30, 2018
I remember the buzz in Cork in the early 90s about Sean Óg and Teu when they started hurling. It was like lads had landed from Jupiter as he puts it himself #TheGame— Anthony O'Connor (@Antcon7062) July 30, 2018
Damning indictment of Irish society that Sean Og was only accepted by his community when he proved himself useful on the pitch. Powerful interview. #TheGame— Joe Leogue (@JoeLeogue) July 30, 2018
I was enjoying ‘The Game’ in a mellow way when I watched a preview screening earlier today until I saw the segment with Sean Og. And it blew me away. https://t.co/qkXEUnzbbO— John Duggan (@JohnDugganSport) July 30, 2018