Cory Galvin grew up on the north side of Cork City (Rep of Ireland) in a place called Dublin Hill. His journey into the world of football began at just five years of age when he signed for local club Leeds AFC. The next eight years provided many fond memories for the Cork native who mixed his football with various other Sports all within a stone’s throw from his home. By age thirteen a move to College Corinthians came about and football by then had well and truly become his sole focus.
Cory was part of a very successful Corinthians side who would go on to win every major honor possible with the exception of the National Cup during a two year period at the club, amazingly the side was beaten on just two occasions during that period of time!. By the end of 2010 (under 13’s) Cory was an established member of the Cork League selection panel who played at the prestigious Kennedy Cup tournament in Limerick. Attended by scouts from across the water the tournament provides a platform for young emerging talent to showcase their potential. Cory excelled and would be offered a number of trials with English clubs. One club in particular was keen to capture the signing of the technically gifted midfielder, Ipswich Town Football Club!
One year on from the Kennedy Cup and just fifteen years of age Cory made the move across the water to join Ipswich Town following three trials with the Suffolk outfit. He remained at the club over a four year period and would go on to be decorated with caps at International level for his Country at every age group from U15’s to U18’s all whilst benefiting greatly from the experience of playing within one of England’s most famous youth academy’s. A gifted player with a love for the game, the world was at his feet.
In the summer of 2015 Ipswich Town decided not to renew the youngster’s contract. Setbacks can be the making of many players if they are made of the right stuff, and judging by Cory’s progress and reaction since leaving Ipswich one suspect’s this is a decision that club may well live to regret in the future. Cory attended various trials back home in Ireland before eventually deciding a move to Waterford United and the opportunity to play under first team manager Roddy Collins was the right place to start a fresh. Keepitonthedeck.com recently caught up with Cory to speak about his experiences abroad and get some insight into what lies ahead for this talented footballer...
1. What does football mean to you Cory?
Football is my life, it’s something I have been obsessed with since I was very young. Even before I started playing the game at five years of age I always had a ball at my feet. I’m still obsessed with the game to this day, I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing than playing a match or training. I've dedicated my life to the game since I was very young. From a young age I was very focused on football and were I wanted to go, I still am, I train away from football in the gym regularly, watch and study the game, I look after myself, eat the right foods, it’s a lifestyle, one that I love. I recently seen a documentary about Freddie Roach, people will probably know him as Manny Pacquioa's boxing coach, he said " I live life to the fullest and living life to the fullest for me means spending 12 hours a day at the Wildcard" (His gym). I think you need that if you want to get to the top in any sport, a love and dedication for your chosen profession and a dedication to self improvement. You see it now with Conor McGregor, he loved MMA when he started doing it, he was obsessed with it and dedicated his life to it, and he’s now the world champion. It’s something I think you develop when you're really young, as a kid when you fall in love with the game and if you still have that love, passion and obsession for the game as you get older I think you have definitely got a chance of learning, improving and getting somewhere.
2. How did you become interested in the game and what are your earliest memories of playing?
I started playing just like the majority of kids at five to get involved in a team. You'd probably have to ask my mam or dad but I can remember all I did from a young age was play football. My earliest memory of being involved with a team was when I missed a penalty in training one day, we had the big orange traffic cones for goals at the time and we were playing on the back pitch down in Leeds, behind the astro, although I'm not sure if the astro was there at the time. I was probably six and I remember I hit the cone! In a game I still think it would have gone in though ha!
3. How did the move to Ipswich Town come about?
The move to Ipswich came about after the Kennedy Cup, it was the first trial I got and I went in the August I think it was. I went for a week with a few other Irish lads and we had a great time. I was fourteen. It turned out they had been watching me for quite a while before in games around Cork for my club and the Cork team, but I wasn't aware. They kept it quiet, whereas other scouts from other clubs had approached us already, I had no clue about Ipswich but as soon as the Kennedy Cup ended they were the first to get in touch and set a date. Going on trial can be a very boring experience but Ipswich was good fun, we stayed in the hotel with the scouts and we had a good laugh. The scouts were very good people and made sure the experience was a good one for all the lads going over. I went on trial only 2/3 times before they offered me a contract. It all happened very quickly really and before I knew it I was packing my bags and moving away from home. I couldn't wait to be honest, I just done my Junior Cert, I knew I didn't do so well in Junior Cert and I couldn't stick having to face another year of school, it happened fast but I liked it and it was exactly what I wanted so I was excited for it. If you offer a fifteen year old the chance to go and become a footballer and train everyday most will probably snap your hand off, I was no different.
4. What was your time in England like and how different was it from playing at home
My time in England was very different from home. The first six weeks or so were tough, it was hard but I never considered packing it in. Playing football was all I ever wanted to do and I had the chance, I knew I would have to get used to it and I did. I had very good support though, my mam and dad were very good and still are to this day, we're a close family and I have had their support in everything since I was very young. I moved to Ipswich on a Sunday and my dad was coming back over on the Friday for the weekend, that midweek I got called up to Ireland U16s and because I was too young to fly on my own I got to go home with my dad on the Sunday! I got a breather a few days at home in my own bed, got to see my friends and it helped. The academy manager at the time was brilliant too, along with the head of recruitment, they brought me to the club, both really looked out for me. It was a year in which I grew up a lot, my first year as an apprentice was very good, we got a new academy manager and the club changed a lot in a short space of time. It was a very different year to my first season at the club. I spent four months away from home at one stage and it was like water off a ducks back for me, I grew up a lot really and settled into it. I was enjoying my football too and that always helps. My final year at the club was the worst in a football sense because I think in terms of minutes I played about six or seven games in the U21 league all season, I barely played at all really and I was never injured, I just didn't get the opportunity to play, in one sense looking back it was surprisingly my most beneficial year. I learned more in a shorter space of time in my final year about the game and how it works, how it really is a business and how ruthless it is. I learned a lot and I really wouldn't change a second of it.
5. If you could offer one piece of advice to young aspiring footballers heading across the water to play, based on your own playing experiences in England, what would that advice be?
My advice would be to be your own man but be intelligent and be clever. Talk to your mam and dad, ask them for advice and keep a very small circle. Trust no one and just make sure that whatever happens you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of each day and not have to lie to yourself, be able to say that you worked hard and you did everything you could. Dedicate yourself to it, don't be a sheep and follow the crowd, football is a business and don't lose sight of the fact that you're over there to try make a career for yourself, for you, so work on yourself and work hard, do it for yourself, not for anyone else. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. You are never going to be happy if you let other people’s opinions bother you, go over and work hard, ask questions and learn. Control what you can control and be prepared for setbacks, things don't always turn out how you want or you may expect them to, just do what you can and wake up every day to work hard.
6. Who is your football idol, and why?
Roy Keane, always has been since a young age. He grew up only five minutes away, it’s an area all my friends are from. He had a dream and he clung to it, he worked hard, took setbacks in his stride from a young age and had a determination and work ethic that's to be admired. He was always idolised in our house back when he was playing for Manchester United.
7. What would a typical days training at Ipswich Town have been like?
A typical days training as an apprentice, we had to be in for 8:30am, training was around 10;30am but we would usually do pre activation stuff in the gym first, although that probably only started in my final two years at the club. We would get in at 8:30am and have some breakfast. Training was two hours and we would probably be in the gym after lunch at two o' clock, or else back out to do another football session. When I turned pro during my last season we never really did double sessions, training was 10:30am but we didn't have to be in till 9:45. My typical day would involve getting up around 8:30am and driving in, I was in everyday just before 9am and I would have my breakfast. I didn't like to eat that close to training and hate rushing so I liked to get in that bit earlier to eat and relax under no pressure. I would usually go to the gym around twenty past nine and do some stretching in the gym for a half an hour or so before training. I was usually on the training pitch with the rest of the lads around 10:15am kicking a ball around before training began. In the afternoons I would go back out myself and do some work on my own with a ball or go to the gym and do weights. The digs could be boring so I would stay in the training ground. In the evenings we had a cinema card thing which meant we could go to as many films as we wanted for £15 pound a month, so we spent most of our time in the cinema after training!
8. What’s the funniest thing you have seen within football?
The funniest thing I have seen in football, I'm not sure really but probably something Jimmy Bullard done when he was at Ipswich! I'm not sure I’m allowed talk about it on here though haha. Myself and some other young lads at the club have been thrown in the ice baths and bins by first team lads in our clothes, so that was probably funny aswell for whoever was watching it!
9. What has the transition from Ipswich to League of Ireland football been like? What's your overall opinion of the League of Ireland?
I hadn't much knowledge of the league of Ireland before I came home as they don't show the games on tv and I was never home, I just watched the premier league or La Liga games really. Since I came back I have been to lots of games and I think the standard is actually pretty good. One thing that stood out to me straight away is all the teams are trying to play the right way, they all seem to play 4/3/3 and try play through the thirds. I was at the Cork City vs Dundalk game in Turners Cross recently, there was probably eight thousand there so I think the league is beginning to get exposure again. It’s a good league to play in as a young player and I'm delighted I made the decision to come back. My transition has been very good, I'm really enjoying my football again because I hadn't enjoyed it in awhile, signing for Waterford and having the opportunity to be working with Roddy Collins is something I’m enjoying immensely. I'm working with a manager who has the exact same views on the game as I do and we are playing a style that we all believe in. Working with Roddy has been a breath of fresh air to be honest and he's given us all the confidence to believe in the system and style he wants to play and when you have that unwavering confidence in the style of play and we all trust each other with the ball, great things can happen and I think we are on the right track. Moving back to the League of Ireland has been very good for those reasons and I'm playing first team football at the end of the day.
10. Your dream wag (Football term for wife)?
Antonella Roccuzo is unreal, Messi's missus but Tom Cleverley's is up there too, Georgina Dorsett is her name I think! I think she models. They would be my top 2 anyway, either of them but I would probably pick Antonella if I ever had the choice! That being said I think anyone would be fairly happy with either.
11. In five years time where do you see yourself being?
I'm not thinking that far ahead to be honest and there's only so much you can control. I'm concentrating on the here and now and playing well in each game and working hard in training. I believe in myself and I'm very confident that I will get to where I want to be. I take confidence from how much work I put in to myself on and off the pitch.