Watty Graham’s Glen and Derry soccer player Conor Glass attended the opening of this year’s AIB GAA Club Championships and AIB Camogie Club Championships. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile
Frank Roche email
When Conor Glass flew home from Australia in September 2020, it was a shock to the system. Not only because he left the life of a professional athlete behind, but also because he got back to a local game that, well, seemed a little alien.
That can happen when you move on from little prodigy Derry To spend four and a half seasons chasing an oval ball Down Under.
To help adapt to senior county football immediately, Derry boss Rory Gallagher suggested that he look at Brian Fenton’s tapes.
« What I struggled with was actually the style of play. Gaelic has changed a lot since I left, I left it as a minor, and that’s a big step towards becoming a senior, « says the 24-year-old.
» So learn the game. . . I’ve seen a lot of footage from the likes of Dublin, the best team in the country. I’m trying to find out where I fit on the Derry team, where I fit on the Glen team. ”
“ You get thrown into the deep end, ”he says. “I had to find out for myself somehow.
“ In the weeks and months that followed, I had to do extra work; I would have done that in Australia on vision. I really enjoyed learning my trade and relearning the skills. ”When asked if there was a Dublin player he was modeled on, Glass checked the name of his midfielder.
« Rory Gallagher actually told me to take care of him and watch his vision and play. I did that in the truest sense of the word. I modeled my game after him and whatever he’s good at, I try to implement it in my game.
“He earns a lot of sales, but he also hits the scoreboard a lot. He’s got this fitness base to come up and down the pitch. He’s obviously a very versatile player.
“I have physical characteristics similar to his; The more times I can walk up and down the pitch, whether it be to make sales or get on the scoreboard, I will. It has obviously worked for him in the past and he was named Footballer of the Year several times. «
Glass has only seen Fenton on video so far – » but hopefully I’ll play against him in the next few years « .
Inside Just weeks after returning home last year, Glass made his NFL debut (against Longford) and SFC christening (against Armagh).
Since then, he’s helped Derry secure promotion to Division 2 – and has Torment saw Donegal’s championship scalp slip through his fingers last July. « It wasn’t easy to see Tyrone win the All-Ireland, » he admits, adding that it motivates the Derry players is going to « make a lot more effort because we don’t see that there is much between us and Donegal, or between us and » Tyrone.
« You’ve obviously come all the way – at the end of the day it’s all about the momentum. Tyrone just built every week and i st grown. We just have to overcome this first hurdle, the first round of the Ulster Championship, and that’s what we’ve struggled with in the past, I don’t know how many years. ”
From the callous anti-climax of Ballybofey in July to ecstasy from Celtic Park in November when Watty Grahams Glen was making history. Her emphatic eclipse of Slaughtneil brought Glen’s 73 years of waiting for a first Derry SFC title to an emotional end. Not bad for his first season back at the club.
“It’s a total relief. I burst into tears after the game, ”said Glass. « One of my goals for coming home was to win a county title with Glen, and that was very special my first year. »
However, the festivities are already parked. Glass spoke at the opening of this year’s AIB GAA and Camogie Club Championships: On Sunday, Glen will face St. Eunan’s in Letterkenny for the first time in the SFC arena of the Ulster Club.
Unlike in Australia, he has to Today he is an elitist amateur juggling soccer with the reality of life, be it at university (he studies accounting) or part-time (as an accounting assistant).
“In the beginning it was tough. As a professional athlete you get a lot of things spoon-fed, « he emphasizes.
» What happened in the first year, even the promotion with Derry, makes the transition a little easier. Had I not been successful or if I had been relegated to Division 4, I would have questioned that. . . and I would probably have come back to be honest! «
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