STEPHEN Kenny may well be waiting for his budget to be finalised for 2012, but one player who will NOT be involved in the opening pre-season sessions, will be midfielder Gareth McGlynn.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
The 29-year-old has opted to seek his fortune in Australia and he, in the company of girlfriend, Ciara O’Kane, will be joining the constant flow of Irish emigrants heading “Down Under.”
The player, however, has opted to take nothing for granted and while he has secured a one year working visa, he was quick to point out that he could be returning home sooner rather than later.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Ciara and myself and we will be travelling with an open mind. If it doesn’t work out, we could be back in three or four weeks, so we’ll see what develops and take it from there,” said the Inishowen man.
“We’ve got an open ticket and a one year work visa, so we’ve decided to give it a go and see what develops. It’s an exciting time but we don’t want to have any regrets and we feel it’s an opportunity we should look at.
“For me, the main thing is to secure full-time work and, hopefully, play football on a part-time basis. Who knows what will happen but I’ve got cousins and friends out there, so we’ll not be alone,” added Gareth.
The pair will head to Perth in Western Australia on New Year’s Eve and with Ciara a member of the Steelstown Brian Ogs Senior Ladies team, it would appear that sport and fitness will continue to play an integral role in their lives.
“Obviously it’s a big step for us, but given the state of the economy these days, we feel the time is now right to try our luck and see what the future holds. As I’ve said, we’ve put safeguards in place just in case things don’t work out but, at the end of the day, we have nothing to lose.
“There’s no doubt that we will miss our family and friends. We’re both involved in sport and while I’ll miss Derry City, Ciara will miss playing for Steelstown Ladies but we both feel the time is now right for the move and everything has been booked,” declared Gareth.
It’s also interesting to note that quite a few former League of Ireland players are now heavily involved in Australian football with former Derry City personnel, Steven Gray, Liam Kearney and Clive Delaney all playing football in the ‘Land of Oz.’
“Steven Gray and Liam Kearney are both based in Melbourne and playing football professionally with Steven expected to move into the Australian ‘A’ League this season.
“Clive Delaney, who is based in Sydney, plays in the part-time leagues out there as he is working full-time,” noted McGlynn.
“I’ve been chatting to both Steven and Clive over recent months in relation to moving over and they’ve both been very positive and appear to be well settled.
“The fact that I have cousins and friends living in Perth is a great help but I’ve decided never to say never and if it doesn’t work out, then we could be making our way home after a few weeks. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Ever Present in
Derry City Squad
McGlynn, who joined the Derry City first team having graduated through from the reserves 12 years ago, has been an ever-present in the squad despite spending the 2010 season with Bohemians after the Brandywell club collapsed due to financial difficulties.
“Derry City has been a massive part of my life to date,” continued Gareth. “I played in the reserve team under Paul “Oxo” McLaughlin before Kevin Mahon gave me my chance in the first team and I think I made my debut against Limerick over a decade ago.
“I’ve always enjoyed representing the club and while I’m not getting any younger, I’d still like to think that I have a few years in me yet, playing at senior level.
“Naturally, if we decide to see out the year in Australia I will miss playing for Derry City but, who knows I could be back playing for the club if things don’t work out.
“That said, I would also like to think that I could be making a telephone call from Australia to Stephen (Kenny) next October, congratulating him on winning the Premier Division title with the club,” concluded the popular local player.