Part 1 of our Exclusive Interview with Cha Fitzpatrick
James “Cha” Fitzpatrick was seen as one of the best hurlers in the country when he was a county minor with Kilkenny. He won back to back minor and 2 Under 21 All Ireland titles. Brian Cody called him up to the Senior panel at just 19 years of age.
He started corner forward in the 2004 All Ireland final defeat to Cork. His inter county career stalled in 2005 with Cha not seeing any championship action. 2006 was his breakthrough year, a move to midfield earned him his first All-Ireland Senior medal, an All Star and a young hurler of the year award for good measure.
He added another All Ireland medal in 2007 and in 2008 he had the honour of been the only Kilkenny man to captain Kilkenny to a three in a row after the demolition of Waterford and winning his third All Star in a row.
The hurling world was at his feet and he looked like he would be a regular for many years to come on the Kilkenny team. He was an unused substitute in the 2009 All Ireland victory – strange given he had won 3 All Stars in a row the previous three years.
In 2010 he was back on the starting team for the All-Ireland defeat to Tipperary. This was to be the last time that Cha appeared for Kilkenny in the championship. He was part of the panel that won in 2011 as he won his 5th and final All-Ireland medal.
In an exclusive interview with www.Sportstalk.ie, Cha opens up about his relationship with Brian Cody, what life is like after retirement, how he got his nickname and much much more.