Paul Hunt speaks to the LOI Blog and discusses the great debate, part-time football v full-time football.
A lot of people are suggesting that the Irish League is not going to improve as most of the teams are going to be part-time, but I would disagree with the doubters. It may be seen that as a part-time player you don’t train in the morning and commitment to fitness and technical skills would not be at the same level as that of full-time players but I believe me we (part timers) have as much dedication to reach or even exceed that level (of a pro).
For me that commitment and dedication to excel and pass that level involves training every night of the week which includes going to the gym and also includes going training with the Club. Also when you are off you still do your runs in the morning or evening as well as going to the gym by yourself.
On the other hand as a full-time player, you train every morning but usually get to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. Yes, they (pro’s) do the gym and their running for fitness but most of that will be done as part of their training with the club as they have as long as they want whereas most part-time only usually have use of pitches for about 2 hours as most of the pitches aren’t owned by the clubs. Most part-time players have to get up and leave home by 7 or 8 am, go to college or work for the day and then go straight to training which then means not getting home until about 9 or 10pm at night.
You also have to watch your diet during the day and your fluid intake even if you’ve had a busy day in work or college to be able to keep up the high intensity and high level of performance that is expected from players week in week out in training from your team mates, management staff and the fans.
Before anyone thinks that I am giving out about this life, I wouldn’t change it as I am doing what I love and feel very privileged in being able to do something I adore. For me it doesn’t matter if we are full-time or part-time the league will improve because teams are training as much as full-time teams. I just believe from my look at things part-time players are as dedicated and committed as any full-time player and the league will improve whether we are full-time or part-time as long as you have people who are hungry and love playing the game like we have in the game at the minute.
Sport Is Everything. Paul Hunt.
Paul Hunt is a League of Ireland goalkeeper. The current Longford Town shot-stopper was part of the under-age structure at Bohemians in the 2009 season before moving on to Dublin rivals St.Pats in 2010.
Column courtesy of the League of Ireland Blog. The LOI Blog is your number-one site for domestic football in Ireland, why not click here and take a look.