Conor Mortimer | COVID-19 Fitness Industry Lockdown | Mayo GAA | Gaelic Football

Conor Mortimer | COVID-19 Fitness Industry Lockdown | Mayo GAA | Gaelic Football

 Former Mayo GAA star and current Glenroyal Leisure Club and Spa Manager Conor Mortimer joined Jonathan on

We hear about his early sporting role models, life as a GAA star, and reflect on his departure from the Mayo senior squad. Also discussed are dealing with abuse from fans the worrying culture of online bullying on social media.
Conor tells us first hand how the current lockdown has affected the fitness industry he works in and his frustrations with the government's handling of the whole situation.



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Hello and welcome back to play I predict calm I'm delighted to be joined by this week it's actually a guy that doesn't need an introduction usually have a big paragraph don't know but anyone my age group in particular grew up in the G circuits knows that face straight away it is of course countermarch corner thanks so much for joining us



No problem sir How are you?



Good all good all good before we kind of get in because I know there's a lot of topical stuff that we want to talk about it but just wonder why the back a little bit on your on your career. I know I always ask people who their sporting you know idols or or people that have influenced on and and particularly more so for someone like you in particular that I know so many kids in Mayo what even my age group as well would have you would have been an idol for idol for so many people. You'd see all the kids on the game which you're even before you wouldn't see normally see too many names and jerseys, you see a few countermarch around as well. So you have been an idol for so many people but you yourself growing up I know it's a busy family in which your brothers and stuff so that would have been a big influence but who in particular were the big kind of guys that kind of steered your your great sporting career?



Yeah, look, I think you know, it's funny touching on to it, because I was always it was all soccer for me growing up. I didn't have a huge, I suppose. Yeah, I love watching football and the likes apologize. Maurice Fitzgerald loves you Karen McDonald, to Colin Corkery to also share the likes adores guys, obviously, from the football side of it, but I was 99% soccer pretty much I was probably 18 or 19 years of age. And that was, you know, Gerard Fernando ledi. All these there's that, you know, what the influence is probably not for the name. In regards to success, though, as well, as athletes, you know, it would have been from a vast range of sports and soccer, basketball, American football in particular as well. And it you know, it's kind of funny, because it wasn't, wasn't per se, their sporting prowess. You know, it was more or less, you know, the kind of match mad sports people that I would have probably enjoyed watching more than or less, I suppose on the on predictability of them what they're going to do or whatnot. And I think that kind of related back to when I pledge, you know, I wouldn't have been a madman on a picture like that, but some of the celebrations and some of the hair and tattoos and stuff like that, I mean, that's the kind of stuff you kind of pick up and you get into it yourself and look at I suppose I would look too far for my own family in relation to you know, knowing what it took to play a county level and what needed to be done obviously, kind of the Trevor had had been there before me and you know, I had been trained and obviously with the senior team new ones call you back. How would you say it in relation to you know, I suppose what I needed to do to get plan at that level and I would have looked a bit up to them guys. And you know, it was funny because obviously likes my dialogue Randy McHale jams hadn't already costs at all, Kevin Kehoe junk Casey, you know, all these guys from that time who I was training right at the start as a young fella, they're the guys who were to look up to I think was two years, you know, after they were in an order and senior fine, which was probably as far away as Mars was, like, to me been, it's been a young fella. But I think when you get into their company, and you start training with them, and after a while, you know, it's the look up to them know, you're kind of one of them. And then I saw that's, you know, when you touch on when kids start looking up to you that, you know, it's kind of like passing on a baton or whatever along the way. And I've had a democracy for a few years and still fun. You know, I think it's just a mixture of so many different sports and different people. And, you know, I think the celebration side of a lift, and a jersey was predominantly from soccer, as it happens probably every week, you know what I mean? And obviously, it's a bit of fun and stuff like that. But I think I think it was an accumulation of different different sports people, you know, pretty much everywhere that I would kind of look up to as opposed to one or two, you know, yeah, you



think I've kind of picked kind of bits and pieces of different as you said, different sports and different attributes, and you kind of I suppose hold them to yourself, and the one that comes into mind and it just while you're chatting there was that Michael Jackson one as well. Like that was almost unheard of in a way for people that we got to know footballers and herders for strictly what the day like the manliness of it all and it wasn't great they could hit the ball or kick the ball for so long. But here was you having a different edge to it. Was that something like your that's your probably a personality? Or is that something you were kind of striving to be? Almost the the entertainment? I don't mean that in a disrespectful way, but to give I'm sorry, no,



no, not Not really. Because I mean, at that time, I think particularly before that game, you know, it's like everything. There's a reason for everything. I think at that particular time, I was on the bench for that game. For Kind of a word is a bit of a disagreement or whatever with the manager Previous to that, not a not a disagreement verbally or like that it was just, it was an issue pre that I didn't start that game. I think I went to Aldi or something, so they're supposed to train or something like that. Whatever I do, I don't really recall it, basically, you know, it just came into my head, right? I was on the bench. So I do this the night before. And, you know, if the stars align, you're gonna get on, get a chance to score. And then you get an opportunity to, you know, lift your top or whatever like that, you know what I mean? And it's, it's, it was one of those things really, obviously, Michael Jackson died that week. I mean, that was the idea exam on the T shirt. Push, no. And I said two minutes thoughts. Like before, write this on a T shirt, put it onto the jersey, get a chance to lift it up in a wave on and I suppose. You know, did you? Did you get attention at the time? Of course it did. But I did as a player anyway. But, you know, quickly and go and the game that it was against who it was. And, you know, I think that was there. And obviously, to get a goal and see at the time, which benefited the team to win the game. So I mean, it was, it was just one of those things. I mean, would have happened if I didn't have it on the top? Maybe, maybe not, you know, who knows? But that was all it was more just than anything else. And that was that really?



Do you ever get Did you are I suppose is more looking back at it. Now. We're just curious. Like you, I think you, I suppose at times got unfair criticism. I think that's just because I think the elite players get criticized a lot more, there's more expected of them. And then and stuff like that. And I think Julian from from Galway as well. So when you were in the bubble, that is, it's hard to explain to people here in Dublin at times just how much of a bubble like it's almost because this is gonna sound an awful disrespect. But as long as we're back at home, at times, it's Gaelic football or nothing, and it's the be all and end all variable in our life. So think criticism can go completely over the top, like you were you were a guy, a true superstar, the name of the game, and then all the other attributes, you know, the hair, the boots, and everything, you are a true icon. But did you ever feel that that kind of guy gave you on just criticism were players that might be a bit more kind of vanilla? Were got away with a lot more?



Yeah, if I'm honest, you know, and look, negative stuff never affected me at that time. Because, you know, when you're training hard, and you're practicing your pain, well, you know, you don't really care. You know, in hindsight, you know, and I've always reverted back to us. You know, if I had been, I mean, you can't really help your personality, you are who you are. And I think that that probably clashed, in my latter stages with with with the manager. You know, so managers struggle to kind of separate the fact that you want to go on the pitch and do your job, regardless of how you look, or what attention you get, or what interviews you're called to do, or various aspects like that, where, you know, the quiet jawsaw who still do the same, but minus the distraction, shall we say, would always get get, you know, I suppose more leeway. And that's on a management point of view, and you'll get a supporters point of view, pretty much the same. And I think, you know, criticisms, I would have got as a player at times, obviously, just because, I mean, you set your own standards, mine would have been high 90% of the time, 95% of time will perform, there's always time to perform. And then you get get the raft and that's the nature of the game would you know, I suppose on your point to people I suppose they have more, more to say, because you're slightly different. As opposed to, you know, someone that's that, you know, doesn't do anything different, I suppose really just goes out players and even if they're crap, week on week on, there's no criticism. Yeah. You know, this head of hair, just sort of boots and sneezing. Yeah. And look at it. It's not a disrespect to people, but I genuinely think they're not. You know, they're credit those people who criticize they're not football people. I mean, football is football, it's what you do with the ball when you're inside the four lines and then outside that is completely irrelevant to support it and what some supporters feel the need to, you know, to jump on, it was the same and my dad and his team as well. You know, and all supporters are critical, don't get me wrong, as well as being supportive. But I just think somewhere in the middle over the last few years that that that has been lost. I think, you know, I think the what's the word the the permission to abuse players. There is no middle anymore. You know, it's very simple if it's on social media or that a game or your desk or your dash, you know, and I think people are very, very quick, you know, it's very easy for there to say to someone, well, you know, you're not on the page, obviously, you're you might never plan for your country, you might never want to, you know, have been good enough. But that doesn't relate to people, if you say that to somebody, they don't care, because you're in the position to do that. So therefore, they think they have authority to, you know, get action started abusing you, or giving you this or that or whatever, maybe. And it's the one thing I always found 90% of the supports in the all fantastic supporters party, one of the best supports in the country. But there's always that 10% it's in every county, ours ours were particularly parish at times with wood players, not just myself. What Harish in a nasty way, not, not in all your family or your shows or whatever, you know, the, you know, family stuff, and abuse and personal stuff. And, you know, if, over time, it washes off, you brush it off your shoulder, but I mean, when you're constantly in that zone, and that's the sad reality, I haven't, I don't think I've been out for an Asian male. And the best part of it was out a couple of years ago, but I'd say once or twice in the last seven, eight years. Because it's not worth the hassle of listen to crap, but it's just not. And I know there's quite a lot of players on that regard. What as I said, it's the 10% but it's in every county and every walk of life. It's not just in mail, it's everywhere because by and large, fantastic supporters grant support group to have been for me all through my career. And you know, it always gets a few I suppose. Idiots Really?



Yeah, I didn't like that. I think abuse and the it's become more prevalent now. There's so many more platforms to unleash your anger. And it you know, spoke actually recently enough with Tonio Regan he's performing he's the former glory harder, but performance and personal culture as well. And of kind of the, I think, without getting too deep into it, we're at a generation where social media has completely taken over. And it's allowed a platform where a generation are not used to we haven't customized, we've no ground rules and social media. So everything goes and the stuff that people say on social media, we've seen it across various platforms and software for sporting bodies. Well, you wouldn't dare say that to someone on the street. And it's become a big, big problem as well. Like how is it okay to say pined on your smartphone or behind the keyboard, but yet, you wouldn't dare have the balls to say someone down the street and how you how would people adapt to that and to do for someone like yourself, that's and many other county players as well that have sacrificed so much to hear that abuse either face to face or behind the keyboard, it must be so difficult to take, I'm not quite sure I'd personally be able to kind of hold my bite my lip and hold back, I guess, unfortunately, over time, you



get a nice pause. Now it's different because obviously, I'm a lot older now. I suppose when Twitter started, you know, I would have been quick to jump back. Which is was the unfairness I find is Oh, you're in a position you get for me, or you're well known or so you can take the exam and back, like, you know, what? You know, and that went on for quite quite a long time. You know, you see you get a bit of stuff on Twitter and stuff, what I've always said, you know, and for me as well, I mean, if you're, if you're on those channels, and you're open to you know, using the platform as a voice or for whatever it is, you have to be prepared to check some kickback. I mean, that's just parent person if you're not get off. It's as simple as that. I mean, I you know, nobody needs Twitter. Nobody needs this. Nobody needs Instagram, which is where now obviously people are making a living from these things. Do you know what I mean? Where on one side you know, it's pictures and all that other kind of stuff? Yes. On the other side, you know, it's not known you know, the abuse that some people are getting through the messages on it in relation to a picture that might be so flattering for somebody Are you know, you might be going through a tough time or whatever. Yes, there is people out there who's abusing people and it's the same on Twitter and it's the same on on others or Facebook, as well. But that's the nature of social media and I think it's more prevalent now. I mean, you've seen people obviously you know, committed suicide over the abuse they're going online and I just think how do you solve it i don't know i i couldn't tell you what what to do is a regulated by Twitter and these I mean, they're obviously it's a business to them, you know that they're not ready billionaires for no reason are millionaires, whatever you want to call them. So you know, and I think that's that's kind of what it comes back to is money for the for the big boys and the suffering along the way. Usually, you See, when people are making big, big money, there's a lot of collateral damage along the way that that person at the top of that chamber won't care. And that's, I suppose that's kind of the way it is and the worse and a lot of cases Bosch, you know, I'm sure it can be regulators, the minute someone gets an abuse, you should be able to send a report that other person should be suspended straight away, investigate, and then decide what to do with them. You know, they're not you know, that's nice. Well, it's not really for me to say but you know, as I said, if you're on the channel, you know, and you're willing to, to give a bit of bite back, you know, expected in return.



Yeah, unlike, I suppose, like, it seems like a on thinkable really at the moment, when we when you go back 10 1520 years, when we were a bit younger, social media wasn't really prevalent, I think you might have had the likes of Bebo and stuff like that came around but I suppose you're rarely kind of Mayor career probably wouldn't have been as prevalent the social media and stuff like that. It's a big difference now for a young guy coming through or young person, whatever male or female coming through in a sporting environment that they also have to manage their sporting career and then there's this other element at the side which is I always think I always think it's quite difficult for young people coming through now.



It is what I mean and it goes back to I suppose Do you get others or DNR You know, I think a lot of people nowadays are going on at you to work reasons and get their companies out there and stuff like that which is fine. You know, you don't see a lot of interaction from present players on Twitter on these things. There's not a huge amount of rubbish I think I was obviously I wasn't hugely on it but I was on it when at the end of my career and you know, it's obviously difficult for people but I think you have to you have to separate you know, I did social media you know, I use the checkout news have around here and there you know, check a few pictures every food or whatever it may be for those aspects others without you know, the I suppose the abusive side of it, but you know, and I'm no different to everyone else, I mean, you can love to see me on a ranch and read the government every day of the week due to pink gold so I mean, use it for a voice doesn't matter Probably not. But you know, I wouldn't give it to someone on a personal level isn't to Joe Bloggs and you're this or that because I mean ultimately you know, I suppose I'm not really that type of person. But you know somebody the amount of accounts that aren't real the ones that are that are really knife knife trading to some people you know, there's a lot of issues with as well come back to your question but young people I suppose it's everyone throw on I mean imagine everyone is on Facebook or whatever like that and Instagram anyway. Twitter's is hit Miss for some people. But as I say, I don't think it's it's for youngsters coming through you know, I imagine a lot of them can take it or leave it because it's until you're more recognized that's when it established you don't have to search for someone if you want to start talking to them or whatever like that as opposed to in general you know who's waiting on out there you know therapy whoever then that's when you see them on the you know, on Twitter, whatever social media channel you also have to be careful because as I said the minute you're on these things, you know, there's not a lot of opportunity for the people in you know, mail or a car or Galway or whatever to talk to that I said you know, Chan was a no share. They can go on Twitter and you can be sure these people will see what says they generally never get to talk to these people you know what I mean? And that that might that's what a lot of young people try and do as well that's the benefit of it. But you know it's it's it's it's a dangerous word out there on social media. You have to be really really ready for and that's for all ages coming in.



Yeah and look we see that across a vast array of sports even look into her recently in the Premier League come into a vital game some of the horrible stuff being said from a kid and stuff like that so it's it's not just a religion unfortunately it is I think a bigger problem for society even and without getting I don't want to go to delving too much into it but I'd be more curious to so you have your very you know successful male male career and I mean I'm that's not a dig around and it was very successful with people trying I think not male because I'm probably guilty of it myself as well from growing up growing up on the border as well that gold male rivalry is intense and people like to jump on a bandwagon. I guess similar to akin to Liverpool with it with the Premier League and stuff like that not winning, it's the it's the easy target. But you committed so much of your your life to male G and even without paraphrasing you too much. I'd imagine you sacrifice a lot of kind of career opportunities and stuff like that to be completely You know, male, male, male and get your body in there and every condition, when that's taken away from you, then is that is that a difficult?



You know,






Is it difficult? Yeah. It probably is. And it isn't. I think I was probably, you know, career wise, I was working away when I finished, and I was no loose ends and what I was going to do, I had a fair idea what I was going to do, I had a plan. That's why I went over and at that time, and I didn't realize it was going to be over at that time. But whether I play it for me or for another couple of years or not, it wasn't affected my work what I was doing at that current time. So yeah, but like, I suppose I can imagine what it feels like, for somebody who is left, or has been asked to leave a panel, I think you gauge it along the way as you're going along. I don't think it's an overnight decision from any management team in relation to a player. So players will have a general idea of running into a decision is going to be made maybe at home for six weeks or eight weeks, or whatever it may be. But, you know, it's the one thing I think I was lucky, obviously, obviously, I worked at home for a few years Portland college 2425. I lived at home I wasn't you know, I didn't I I hadn't a huge financial outgoings at that time, I actually had a company I sponsored character, they said, We got me as after training. And after again, so I, you know, I wasn't open about at that stage, right like that I need money for for demos. So from probably 17 when I started training with male seniors all the way to 32 and 33. You know, I only probably got off in the real bad world when he went to college 24 and dominant on my own to see, obviously, that was when I started thinking of race. I'm talking these guys have trend and they were working with dad at the time of inquiry. Did I see myself there for life? No. They're all coming back with stories of training for college and blah blah blah. So I wasn't great at school and so I actually did not think that I could study or learn in relation to a to a classroom setting. When Jim first year second year, tough two years, they had a few exams, repeated them pass them and as I suppose what's the word? I got to enjoy us? Three a year three and four. Like I was doing a SPORT SCIENCE career which is very very tough. So I got into that and then obviously got a degree and then I said right I go and do a master's in Belfast which was probably my greatest achievement as opposed to on the on the football pitch. If you've seen me in school when I was in St. Mary's it wasn't I was always playing football so I wanted to be parents no interest in class no interest in studying all I wanted to do and study was this soccer on the phone on the earphones five times that's all I was mad until I sports and I think when you're young you're naive you think right is going to be it for like obviously as you get older, you kind of things change. You know, I think people don't understand that at times. You know, you've other folk focus on your career, your family, current wives, kids, you know, work. All those things are are To put it bluntly, more important than sport and amateur sport. And it served me well don't get me wrong. What it was the work that I did the training and the practice and that I did the sacrifices that I manage that entailed that it's it's not it's not as easy to set for while Gabby just sort out you know, everybody Yeah, you're not born within politics. You know, you have time obviously to chat we you know, we did a lot of football in our family all the way through. But it's the work on it the practice the practice the practice, you know what I mean? And that that's what it boils down to. That's why I don't have regrets in relation to my career or what I did with me all because, you know, I put a lot of work into it. I enjoyed my time and finished a couple years too early. Yes, I'll agree. regretfully. Bosch You know, there was no leeway from the manager at that time either. So you know, it was 5050 mistake and and that's long short, but I don't regret it and I don't think about it. I don't worry about it. So soundly upwards.



Yeah. No, because it was spoke to again I keep going back to but it's just a fascinating one I did recently with Tonio Gregan and his was was caught by it was a guy like yourself as well who consumed garbage a year and you curse me Oh gee, and that was his bread and butter for the coats of you're talking 20 years between under age and stuff like that. He got a phone call in off the manager at the time and said he was no longer required that caught them off. They openly said it took them years and years to get over that and Even he almost resented watching golden play and stuff like that I found it difficult does it make it was easier as the wrong word in the fact that,



you know, you had a



kind of a sort of a choice is the wrong word as well. But you were had part of the decision to step away from from that. Does that make it?



No, it's probably hired her because when I left I thought it was for that year. Right? I didn't think actually it it's in hindsight, I was thinking like this this dress this year. It was heresy at the time. But I mean, there was a lot of frustration built up to that. And obviously, the same manager there three or four years, so there was no going back then which manager has his his his opinion, which is, which is fine. If he thought there was better there, then that's his choice. And it's any managers choice to pick who they want to play on their team. And I have no problem with that. I've never had a problem with that. Did I feel there was better there? I don't I have never done. What, you know, I'm not demanding. It's easy to say no. I've said the exact same thing. About two weeks after I left, and I've said it since I haven't changed. But yeah, look at it's hard when you're when you know, you know, you're watching to our gardens, you know, you can you can contribute. And, you know, you're How would you say, better than one or two that the place? And that's the reality of it, it's not an arrogant thing, if that's the way it was at that time. And, unfortunately, that it didn't transpire the night that I got to play. And I watched two odd hours, probably three, actually, that I felt that I could contribute. And the manager knew that. But I must be very tough. It was tough to watch. You know, I wouldn't have been as I wouldn't have had resent, you know, as opposed to Tony organ or in relation to that. Or, you know, it's hard to Bish, both. You know, I mean, it would have been very, very hard. I mean, obviously, if they're going on $1 it's hard to watch them playing in the finals, particularly the year that I left before the kind of final two games later than an army fighting. That's that's a difficult time because you're in the base really, over decision that you made. Obviously, in hindsight was regrettable. It didn't feel like that at the time. So but look, it's like Anthony, you know, you get on with things in life, you move on, and you keep pushing on. And, you know, I suppose it was a year and after that you turned into a raised supporter for the lads, I would have gotten away with all the boys anyway. That was never going to be an issue. But, you know, I suppose any year the winners, you know, now it's celebrate every time as opposed to back at that time closer where it was a bit more roll, and I wasn't there at the time. That's perfect.



And last question, because I don't want to get hung up on this as well. But it's something I think we've seen the game evolve over the last couple of years. And particularly I think with increased from three to five subs and the game literally it used to be before the 115. And then if you weren't in the 15 you may as well be Miss will be in the next city or standard, whatever you weren't going to be involved with. Think through the likes of the dogs and stuff like that. We've seen them. I think people call them finishers now as well as substitutes that come on to like the likes of Bernard Brogan and stuff like that, who might have lost their starting position. But we're kind of not happy in a subs role but had an impact as a sole Pro. Does that ever kind of could have maybe I know you were so disappointed and it's it's a nature of your personality and what made you so good that you fully believed you were four should have been forced choice that's taken away. Does it ever kind of come back? Maybe Oh, I could have been not the Supercell but I could have had



this okay. Of course it does. But I mean, that wasn't relevant or prevalent at that time. It wasn't a squad. You know, you could have done a few minutes of course, but it certainly wasn't explained and it certainly hadn't that feed about that squat at that time that it's a turkey man squad in relation to winning games. And I think you know, it still isn't in the majority of countries Dublin obviously because they have that quality if you five Ireland's and you're sitting on a bench to contention off to come in and finish off 1520 minutes to go and get another alarm again another another it shows it a lot of teams don't have that luxury of having that quality in their squats. And we've spoke about over the last four or five years Dublin's bench has won them all our other counties benches Haven't we bought ourselves in their own final carry you have bought and sold the journey God hasn't done because it's not you know, if you search competition fine. And a lot of counties will tell you to do but that's just in their own County. That's not in the grand scheme of the all of the alarms definitely not and that's you know when you have a squad of factors so you can pick and choose For the majority of counties, their first 15 is fairly certain when you're taking this. And there might be one or two odd cause Goblin, they probably have four or five decisions they can make or cannot make. But if they don't make them in the first half, that probably makes them the second. That's the difference with Dover.



Yeah, no one was even if you look at Liverpool, big Liverpool fan as well, you see, the suppose again, probably touched on the goal. But in your studies, it's what was brought in terms of that siege squad mentality. And even small things come to mind, like making sure that everybody got a medal even if they'd necessarily didn't play, but you do fully believe in all the backroom staff as well. That's, I suppose, in your involvement in sport, that that's probably something that you feel very passionately about her. You can see, like, obviously, we've seen the benefits for Liverpool. But I think sport has changed in the last couple of years, Blue Jays in particular was very guilty of being in the dark ages, at times with some of their thoughts and methods, it's now changing in other sports, and you can slowly see it starting to weave in as we would have studied a lot of that side of things as well, I'd imagine.



Yeah, look at that. I take it's very evident, because in soccer, regardless, if it's professional or amateur, you've got so many different personalities. Yes, at the end of the day, you know, a good manager would mix personality and their talents into the overall squad. And then they'd benefit that on the pitch. Whereas a lot of GM managers, you know, it goes back since the majority of them are students and don't think for a minute, they're not that that 30 people on that panel are all expected to do the exact same thing. You're all the same. You're all part of my panel, I controls you 30. Guys, if one guys decide to step out of line and do something a little bit differently, good luck. That's a lot of code. That's a lot of G. It's very difficult to manage that the good managers manage. I don't I wouldn't say everybody differently for everybody on their strengths and their merits, good managers copters are to achieve, you know, his personal relationship with players is fantastic. And that's the benefit of That's the difference. And I know Jim Garvin might not appear on the sideline to have that relationship, I can guarantee it's like that off off screen. So managers don't have it at all the personal relationship, it's not, you're coming in there as a as a number on that squad, which is fine. But ultimately, everyone is dealing with something differently in their life. That has to be, you know, you have to have a certain amount of, of, you know, leeway in regards to you know, it's not someone going off for a week in the beer. It's not someone going on holidays. Some people are Maverick footballer, some people are very standard footballers, but they're still playing the same team. So how do you marry that together, that's what the good managers do. Get his person out of the mix in which the quiet guy then you have something in the middle that you can work with, as opposed to having two different people that you don't understand. And that goes back to your management style and if you have a habit and some managers have unfortunately others don't



it must be frustrating if you were in between because you look at the benefits and again I don't want to hone in too much number but you look at even look at the front three alone. Like you have Salah was very much kind of his own career, his own, you know, Egypt and that's his personality. I suppose Manny is slightly similar in a way as well. It's kind of very much driven in the game, but then in the middle of the mall tying it all together, you will probably for me know and look at his hairstyle and sees celebrations his extravagant Look at his instincts as well as clothes on and off the pitch book like clockwork knitted them all together, they would run into walls with each other, I wouldn't necessarily say that they're best friends, we've seen money squabbles over goals and stuff like that. But on the page together there is like this tight with they will run through walls, which are that's ultimately what a good manager does.



He has them, you know, going for the primary goal. But bear in mind, the mistake a lot of managers will make in a gsf thing. The goal is to win or learn God's gold strategy or I can guarantee you is not to win the Premier League. It's not to winning the Champions League, it's not to win the FA Cup. It's to get his team present as hard as they can press working as hard as they can work. And success will follow. That's that that's what kept with it. Whereas other guys, like the only goal is an either or accounting kind of championship lenstra or whatever it may be. And, you know, if you don't have the first fish, you cannot get the second and that's as you say, when it comes to jelling together and being a good manager. You know, I can see it being evolved to change myself. I mean, everyone is you know, you can treat everyone the exact same, you just can't do it because you know what works for you might work for me and vice versa and that's Like the manager has to do with his jet all those guys together to get everyone, whatever works, you know, to a certain percentage not going to be everything. But whatever makes you check to be as good as you were, as opposed to run in 20 laps with a better object and freeze down there working on my game, you know, not in this not in the winter, but obviously in the summer or so managers is fixed on everyone's doing whatever together, I don't care, you know, I'm saying, yep. So that's the nature. That's all. That's done. Oh, then. Yeah. So



you you, then when you look, you've kind of evolved, you said, you're managing teams and stuff as well do you almost like feel like you have, obviously from your study as well, but your experience of your very successful career and stuff like that you've seen the good and bad? Do you try and try to try and be that modern, that better approach to things when you?



Well, I do a lot of coaching, and I don't get involved in the management side of it, because I wouldn't have the time to commit to it at this moment in my life. But from the coaching point of view, you know, it's every club has a few kind of headers, which as players, I always relate to them, because I know what they're generally very, very good players have different aspects and stuff going on in their lives, you know, they might be doing a nine to five job, or you have two kids at home and be steady, steady, steady, you know what I mean? By being a bit of a loose ends, which a lot of players can be, and they're the ones who work to reassure them that, you know, you're a part of their plans. And you know, how good the air, all they need is sometimes nervous around the shoulder, other times a kick in the ass. That's, that's the balance, how can you bring that balance to pairs. And any mat team I work with, I'd always have the manager who I work with, I talked to Sean, I talked to Chris, I talked to mark, I talk to whoever, and I look after them in relation to cost them around and getting the best out of that, you know, that's as a coach, you can be, you know, you can show off, I don't kick the ball over the barn every night do 100 times, what is the other side of it, which is far more important. So that they're comfortable, they're confident in there, and you're doing your best to keep them on that straight path. Because a lot of times, you know, guys will have, you know, they might have friends, or they might have something, they're going to do something, you don't want them to go and do that. You need to keep them focused on the goal that you have of getting this team, as I say, to play a certain way to in the end, hopefully be successful. And that's the kind of balance that you need to get. And because I've seen it both sides, I mean, john Martin, Mickey Mouse, Mickey more, you know, knew how to get the best out of me, and gave me the freedom to do that. Now other managers probably didn't, I probably say that well and was successful. But you know, it was more of a rigid structure, whereas maybe more of a Morrison was a lot more widespread. They knew they had different personalities on the page, they knew the different personalities in the change rooms, and they gave you that opportunity to be who you are, as opposed to, you know, it's like, you know, it's like sometimes in relationships with people and you see it down the road, where you're not going to be someone who's, you know, how would you say to Matt, give me a manager point of view, he wants you to be this, your this, that's, you know, you don't work. If he wants you to do a certain role or a juice, that's fine. But to be someone you're not, you know, it doesn't make sense. Because you got to that stage by being who you are, by being good at what you're doing. And then all of a sudden, they want you to change this, you know, and it you know, it it didn't make sense at times over the years but some people but you know, I didn't buy into it too much because I just went down train hard practice well and 90% 95% time was picked to stare at anything. Because I was the planner when I allowed not many managers that will tell you I was difficult it was never difficult to a manager I would have done anything a manager asked all the way through and when they gave me the opportunity and you know that's pretty much it on the short



Yeah, perfect. So your your move as well up to up to Dublin to personnels I know from simply moving from a you know, small country club up to a club here. I found a completely different in terms of the community and I suppose back home it's one thing it is the main social everything outlook and then you come up here and it's like a dart in that initially in the big ocean. How did you find that transition from I suppose, the ultimate club to city.



I found it okay. I was in college for four years. Just helped as well. It was seamless enough for me and I was able to walk for six months at home it needs to get try and get some work it was it was working around the city. See joint parent hours then, and that was it. It wasn't a big issue for me. I was ready I've got it. I've been in and out of it for 10 years previous wasn't It's I like to cities, I love cities. I like being around the city. So I suited both sides for me. And I enjoyed my time in paradise Don't get me wrong I had a good time there. Enjoy the football there don't football very, very competitive. It's very, very physical. But it's enjoyable it is the same as we're paired against often, you know, good players tough physical. And, and that was pretty much it really, I didn't have an issue with it. And my job had my head I got grace from my job as well. Because the news situation at the time, you never liked leaving your home club. At the end of the day, I had to kinda get out on the honor and start earning a living. That's that's rare, isn't it?



Because you kind of spend I guess most of your 20s really with just focusing on whether it was your college or working at home, but you are pretty much male football was your number one this from looking at your thing like your your career kind of started with your your professional career, I suppose. You Kickstarter, then in terms of harnosand. Now, you're in your current role at the Glen royal,



how are you?



How are you? Obviously, it's very uncertain times you're the general manager of the



club and all of that.



But so that's a dangerous are suppose weird, weird situation for you guys to be in at the moment? Yeah, you're in the area as well. I know from looking at your tweets and stuff like that. It's It's very, you're very passionate about it about it that way. But I suppose How are things at the moment are good to kind of summarize how the last couple of months have been since we've gone into lockdown? Pretty much.



Look at the first lockdown. Very, very tough. You know, we didn't have a timeframe, I was just dragged on and dragged on. I mean, you know, you're just thinking, what do you what what do you do? You know, for as long as your work, obviously, I was employed, I was working through a lot throughout the hotel, to be fair. But obviously came back started strong the last five or six weeks of the largest money spent on on precautions for COVID and stuff like that. And, you know, I think the most frustrating thing for me, is the fact that the government knew about these these sectors that are issues now. You know, and should have acted on it well in advance. And, you know, there hasn't been cases traced back to gyms, swimming pools, bears, even for that matter at this moment in time. Yes. Due to and other sectors, mistakes and virus that, you know, six hours notice in your tools for two more weeks, which could be three weeks could be four weeks, we don't know. And I think that's the, you know, I think anyone in our sector and Kundera, DS roughly probably feels that it's very unfair, that tutor and other sectors and staff that were paying dependencies, and obviously losing the revenue for that, because obviously all this was the month to get in as much revenue as you can. So schools are opening again for staycations and stuff. And now two weeks that are gone for us, which is very disappointing. And, you know, I, as you say yourself, I mean, who knows what's going to happen in the next couple of months? Nobody knows. Obviously, on the ledger side of it, Jim will probably get back to being busy the minute it opens. But, you know, we're all using the COVID app. Yes. It doesn't really matter when it comes to government. Is this right to Georgia. So what Why? You know, there's no one in my facility, why do I need the app? That's pretty much my check. And as you know, I'm not going anywhere. I go to work with a home and go to work from home. That's it. So they don't



have it everywhere. Yeah, like and I don't I'm conscious. I don't want to pigeonhole or kind of target people. But we have seen, you know, big that this was this big kind of issues, I would flag them or potential issues. You know, you have direct provision, you've obviously had the issues we've discussed here in terms of the certain industries where it just went like wildfire fire there as well and you support it, and you still have the likes of the airports are still open. So there's still people go on and then I guess there's people then maybe it's a reflection of that all that they're probably some of the young people, they're so cheesed off and they're so frustrated about everything else that they're they don't have a political tour, they don't have a nightclub to go to they're young, they want to get out the boat can't really get to sports. So they're having house parties. And you know, we've all seen stuff like that. So all in all, it's a big mess really, at the moment, there's just seem to be resentment, anger and frustration, it doesn't really see the calm head to make a solution out of it all



know what I think since since the CMO has left to be fair, I think that i think i think if he was still there, you wouldn't see this issue. I don't think you'd see as much backlash from from the people. I think the change of government. You know, I think people people need to realize the government changes. We're staring a recession in the face that gives themselves a pay rise straightaway and look at six weeks holidays after a couple of weeks. And I think they're just kicks in too fast for that for the citizens of the country. And I think that's that's where the problem lies. Regardless of walk in situations, I mean, the airports we've traded obviously, with UK, it's very difficult to close that I can understand that that's not an issue for me. And should everyone be tested going into the airport? Of course they should. Sure, like, in other countries, I mean, they say they're looking at other countries. But they do that when it suits them. When it doesn't suit them, the likes of Portugal, you have to have a COVID, negative test $70 for your flight out there. You know, we're not looking at the center list of the teachers last week about all these American schools, as opposed to schools around Europe, where cases are increasing when the school is open. And, you know, look at the bottom line is, and I said this, at the start, I think this this is obviously assigned to cleanse the world. And I think in particular Ireland, in relation to cleansing the whole that, you know, this Larry Goodman has on some government people, because it's very, very evident that in relation to the meat factories, and this kind of stuff, and even for the farmers of the country who've been struggling over the last number of years due to this guy that owns glary, the majority of these these factories. And it's fairly evident, I mean, we were taught to close on Friday, nice to meet factory's warrant towards close. I mean, Simon Donnelly, the Minister had said, it's my, my personal opinion, you know, we were told Friday around the news close. And yet that the factories where the clusters are, who was forced us to close, we're still in operation. I mean, obviously, people are gonna get frustrated and be wondering, like, What's going on here? I mean, that's the reality of it. But you know, Irish paper, to be fair, we take a loss. You know, you can see in France, when a decision is made politically, that people aren't happy with what happens straight to the streets. Were in Ireland, you know, this is going on for a long, long time, which decisions that aren't sooner, you know, homeless people, you know, direct provision banks, you know, you know, and all that stuff, and there's not been done about, it's still going on, and, you know, the venue government, and they'll send the same thing, the same thing, same thing, and it's not improving. And that's the long and short. And then, you know, you're gonna get a parents pay rise, or for people who do a job and, you know, are very good at what they do. That's, that's generally why you get heroes. I mean, you're doing a good job. So you get an incremental whatever like that. And and what's happening to the government the moment I mean, it's just, it's mind boggling, mind boggling. It's very, very, it's very frustrating. And, you know, and I can see it in my own business here. I mean, you know, what happens from now? Where do we recoup the losses for the next two weeks or we're close? It's not our fault. It's someone's fault, I can assure you that. But there you go. That's where



Yeah, and particularly as well, that you've gone to the time and expense as well to get everything, you know, reject. And I know even talking to a school teacher during the week as well, and he's going around his classroom trying to get like move, do the impossible, like Loaves and Fishes style stuff about getting desk and then all you can stream it from the next room. We don't have an extra room, you get a prefab, there's eight weeks planning permission. It's just it's it's a it's hard to see on particularly yourself there as well. You spend so much time money, you know, even you've tweaked and stuff, how much time you were in there getting ready during lockdown, the excitement to get back, because everybody's seen the benefit of exercise for mental health and everything else that goes with it during the lockdown. And here we are a facility that can you know, entail that and encourage that. And you're cut down again, that that that to me, I'd be I'd be very much like you ranting and raving. on social media. Like, you



know, it's very frustrating for business. And it's very frustrating for my staff, because, you know, you have to be realistic. I mean, the the uncertainty about your job, certainly about your business moving forward. That's the reality. That's that's what I'm, that's what we're living in. You know, I have a newborn baby coming in 12 weeks, I bought a new house last year, and then you have this uncertainty due to, you know, issues elsewhere. And that's the frustrating part because these these sectors, as in these factories have been flagged multiple, that they're going to be issues. I mean, there's peace in the times there'll be all American about, yeah, they're an issue three months ago. And now here we are three months later, we get back to business to get back to some sort of normality. And then due to whatever happened, in fact is I don't know. But I know that cases are out of drawer that whatever was said to be done wasn't done. And that's the reality. I know Riker was saying about not blaming someone, like you can't just not being someone people want to be able to jobs. People want to be on the street. You don't ban someone what do you do just just take this because that's what they they expect in the government and they're used to taking this they used to do what they please Have no penalties for. And, you know, that's pretty much the long and short. Like I say last week, I don't know, a couple of weeks ago about, so minister getting the carrot to go to the north, safely and a cup to go to the north. So, like, you know, give me a break, give me a break. Now my argument not my best bargain about it. I'm just it's just frustrating from a business point of view that and even for, as you say, mental health for the members of gym usage pools, families, it's just, it's ridiculous and that they actually expect people to keep it here into this. What are you going to do when a business goes down? Nothing. Huge, and



the consequences are just I don't care.



I don't care. That's a average grandson, we definitely leave everything that's every penny that comes in has to be paid back. Therapy grant or whatever it's going to be. And it's all lost, there's going to be they're not going to be worried. I wouldn't be worried about it. I was getting 200 grand a year, right?



I suppose that's where it's way. Well, I'll flip it on its head. And I don't put you on the spot too much tricky. We've talked about a lot of the big problems and stuff like that. Well, what we like if you were the other side of the desk, you're the one getting that big cushy number. You're the one getting that car, what are the what are the things that you would like to control from that you have weakness now and you've been on the far end of it? Probably the biggest judge as good as judges anybody? What are the simple things that you would like to do? That would help whatever everything try and get us out of this?



I know a politician that I know expert on on legal affairs either. But you know, you have to look at the travel. That's that's one of the main ones. You look at get extra police in certain areas. I mean, there was chaos and Kiki, there was chaos down and bloody, a couple other parents utterly or dingler somewhere. And you police these areas. And when you're warned about sex. I mean, make factories, like us use a bit of common sense, very, very low facilities, very difficult to hear someone on social assistance and very difficult. So make a plan for these factories one way or another and actually send an inspector, like I made it came out a few days ago. Does that stop the hedges you stop sending inspectors because then you're going to get COVID? I mean, it's just mind blowing stuff, man. I mean, if I made a decision like that in my current job, there's no doubt about There is no doubt the word about and then there was there's a couple of their demand things. I mean, listen to the people in relation to where the issues are. I mean, then things were mentioned months ago, months ago. Yes. You know, a lockdown fine. Everyone locks down numbers go down. No, no doubt about it. But, you know, more clarity for people I think it is, you know, give me a number of people in timber hoarding of COVID-19 and on Ameren Kildare, give me a number and Tim over the factory are an awfully where this direct provision places you know, you need to be exact so these people in these areas can be aware. And then lockdown the town. 200 cases the next town, lockdown, two weeks bang, there you go. That's it. Like these things aren't easy for me to say obviously, because I'm just I suppose, looking on what I mean. You know, businesses are really, really hurt. And that that's the, you know, especially hospitality. You know, and even pubs, you know, common sense. I probably would have a city in the middle of a bar is very different to a publisher come to me out. pretty true. There's a big difference. Yes. Everyone, you know, staying close, and I go back to it in relation to gyms, you know, audits from gyms. Never, not a whole lot. You know, seeing anyone, like a gym, who is well financed, can get staff to do the cleaning may ensure social distancing. Ensuring people are wearing masks ensuring people are adhering to the guidelines. A smaller as you may not be able to afford that get rolled under the same umbrella. Sam brackets, there's no there's no separation. There's no difference. You know, to me, it's all my making 150 grand a year. Whoever's over me, right? I'm taking 50 grand off yet. And I'm hiring five advisors or five auditors to go out to these places and check them whatnot. We pepper with pepper,



we pay the tax on whoever you want to send out Yes. Who did you send it out? I don't know. I don't know.



It almost reminds me it just came into my head there as you're saying it's very akin to when you're talking about good ja managers and good manager has been able to adapt and review and manage people differently. It's similar here as you told examples of the bigger kind of gyms like yourself as opposed to, you know, amount of these couple of bikes in a demo. The country whatever the same way, what kind of big city bars versus small rural bars were there for? There's nothing else. It's the same skills there. It's the same mentality really, isn't it?



It's too easy to see. Yeah. to categorize everything as one out leisure. Hospitality all pops the SAM or Jim Sam, because that's not the way it works. But, you know, and I can understand it's dependent. I understand it's unknown territory for the government and for ourselves, by all means I do. But you can't have questions from your public in relationship. who's running the country, NASA, or the government? That's what everyone is asking NASA to give the guidelines the government makes the decisions fine. For every guideline f that are given, has been implemented.



Yet there seems to be none of this people are afraid or the government seems to be afraid of going against any employees like that, where there's a big difference by themselves.



They're all bad. Remember, that's that's all gonna be. Yeah, it's



almost like the place of I just don't want to take a chance. I don't want to risk it. I'm even though I'm the expert in the in the area. And I know that okay, even though it's x&y, this isn't relevant here. You know, making those decision, people are afraid to make a decision, you see what GPAs and stuff like that you go in and you're thrown antibiotics straight away. And I'm paraphrasing a lot here. But there is no responsibility. Everybody, I suppose it is part of the culture that we're in 70 times where there is a kind of a, I'm going to sue you for if you get things wrong, or the consequences were wrong. But yes, you can't you can't go safety, safety, you're just going as the boy who cried



wolf. In vigils around the country. I mean, if you open the country, you got to expect cases to rise. And whereas there's a cluster of cases, in those three areas, like it's not known, I can understand this doctrine, don't think for a minute, I can't because I can because you know, these guys, but the interesting points will be if it's for two weeks. If it's not three weeks, I see another file on today and us talk should be six weeks, some professor in UCD, or TCD, or whatever it is, you know, they're all experts at the moment. Everyone's an expert. I'm no expert. I've no idea. But I know all I know is it's unfair on businesses who are trying to survive. That's what it is. It's very, very simple. They can give out grants, or they like, not not worth monkeys. That's the reality of it for businesses who rely on your August market for your summer, summer guys coming in, like will the can't get guests in, and this hotels all around them in the present 20% items in Dublin Hotel 20% drop in hotel, like that is the standard, no matter what walk of life you're in. And that's Dublin City. So, you know, it's just one of those things. And, you know, as I said, I don't envy the guys in the government at the moment, to be honest. But you know, I mean, give a reason for your rationale. Don't put it on Twitter, we're known as the where you don't even bother interacting with paper. Don't put it on the news at six o'clock on a Friday and write your offshore tanks? Because that's all is it? Without proper reasoning. You know, they can say this clusters here. There's numbers there. There's numbers everywhere. Now, I don't I mean, it's, there is numbers everywhere. There's numbers all over the word COVID-19. Like millions, millions paper or get COVID-19? What, you know, are we are we a little bit conservative? Probably. I know, you're going to boil it down to TFTP. But don't get me wrong. But surely, when does it become the responsibility of the people? That's when they when did they get the chance to show young guys aren't going to hear these things? This is the real world we live in the real world. We mentioned this early on, there's nothing for them to do. Trump's they can't go to the Pope. They went I was buried. That's the only shot the kids or kids ready. You know, it's not only kids, but people and high risk people over a certain age should avoid crowds avoid people stay at home. That's it. It's that simple. It's not fair. It's a worldwide pandemic. That's the you know, that's there, the higher risk people. I mean, it's not by chance, you see so many cases now. And so lucky deaths. These guys, they're younger, and they have stronger immune systems. And that's, you know, well wait cases come from that. And that's probably because it has not someone else. But that's their duty of care, that they're not adhering to you don't go to your house, your house parties night before for a week or whatever it is. So now they're just some of the things that I feed on at any event that's separating me. Well, let's



hope things steady. I think it's not going to ever go away. I think we're going to be manned on this for quite a while. And as you said, it's exactly right. We need to put the trust back on the people and I think communication is key. Really if we can get accurate information down I think people are going to be more inclined to take the responsibility and To move on but look, we hope that everything gets back that the gym is back full and that you're closing up the doors again and people are combing the business picked up and it's a busy busy busy time ahead for free for you guys as well wishes best luck with that. Yeah, say goodbye to your sleep. Because it's gonna be it's gonna be hard to count the train was different. Wait, wait till you have one bottle of joy. But listen, Connor, thank you so much for joining us today passenden interview interview and we'll talk to you all soon. Thank you

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