Cork native Roy Keane is synonymous with football fans not only in his home town, but throughout Ireland and indeed places far afield. Cork, also known as “The Rebel County” has produced no shortage of internationally acclaimed footballers over the years, Denis Irwin, David Meyler, Liam Millar, Colin Healy, Damien Delaney, Frank O’Farrell and Noel Cantwell are just some examples of players who have gone on to represent their Country at international level.
Meet one of Cork’s up and coming talents who has just embarked upon what he hopes will be a long and successful career, 19 year old Waterford United midfielder Evan Galvin.
Evan Galvin grew up in Dublin Hill, Cork, Ireland and played his schoolboy football for local club Leeds AFC from the tender age of five. Galvin remained at the club until he was thirteen years of age before deciding to join College Corinthians (another Cork club). The next three years were spent at College Corinthians were Galvin attended various trials at English football clubs. From the age of eleven Evan was involved in the Cork Schoolboy representative teams and by age fifteen was capped for the underage Rep of Ireland international side, he would go on to gain caps at Under 15’s, 16’s and 17’s.
The dynamic midfielder’s progress during his time at College Corinthians was closely tracked by Burnley Football Club. By under 16’s Burnley decided to offer Evan a two year scholarship deal. Evan spent the next two seasons playing under the terms of that scholarship deal before he was eventually offered his first professional contract at the Lancashire outfit.
Evan left Burnley in the summer of 2014 when the club decided not to renew his contract. A footballer with a superb attitude and motivation to succeed, this set back was never likely to dissuade the determined Cork man from pursuing a career within the game.
Returning to Ireland Evan began to seek a new club in the hope of gaining first team experience. Following trials at Longford Town, Cork City and Limerick FC, he eventually decided Waterford United and the potential to gain first team experience under manager Roddy Collins was a great opportunity, one he was delighted to take up.
Scoring on his league debut vs Cabinteely Evan has wasted little time making an impact at senior level in Southern Ireland. The youngster continues to grow from strength to strength with each passing game, displaying that same drive and desire to improve and develop he has shown throughout his career to date.
www.keepitonthedeck.com recently caught up with this exciting prospect to find out more with thanks to our 1-11 quick fire Q & A.
1. What does football mean to you?
Football is a very important part of my life and it takes up most of my time between travelling/preparing for games. It's something I'm very grateful to be doing full-time since I'm 16. I love learning and studying the game and I'll continue to learn for the rest of my life, the professional career is a very short one, I have different goals I want to achieve in that time, I want to be involved in the game for as long as I can.
2. How did you become interested in the game and what are your earliest memories of playing the game?
I’m not really sure how I became interested! My mam and dad are very supportive of me playing the game. Both my parents encouraged myself and my brother to play plenty of sports when we were younger, their support has always been of paramount importance to us and continues to be so to this day, football has always been number one, that’s the game I loved. My brother and I started to focus solely on football around thirteen or fourteen years of age. I can remember my very first day at Leeds AFC way back when I was starting out. I scored a penalty on the back pitch behind the clubhouse. We had two traffic cones as goals, mine hit the cone and went in. I was delighted with myself. I can remember a lot of times at Leeds as a kid, happy days and many happy memories at a great schoolboy football club.
3. How did the move to Burnley come about?
I was sixteen at the time and had been on trials at Ipswich Town, Cardiff City and Preston North End without anything materializing from any of those. So I was just playing for my club in Cork hoping to get another opportunity to go on trials elsewhere. Luckily enough I got that opportunity at Burnley Football Club. Around the time I got my trial at Burnley I remember I was also training with Cork City U19s despite being three years below that age category. I went to Burnley and was delighted to be offered a deal by the club. I left school at the end of 4th year and headed off to the UK. Thinking back I’m almost certain if no contract had of been forthcoming I would have ended up signing with Cork City.
4. What was your time in England like and how different was it from playing at home?
I enjoyed my time in England and learned a lot. It's completely different from Ireland. From a football perspective the pace of the game is quicker which takes time to adjust to. It becomes a business and no longer just simply playing a game with your friends. It was a real eye opener, welcome to the real world stuff. They are the main two differences in my opinion.
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 accept that you’re going to have plenty of setbacks, and plenty of people who will try and put you down, remember why you’re there and believe in yourself. Don't worry if you’re not fitting in with everyone, those that do get left behind. If people like you then great, if not who cares? Just be yourself and believe that you can excel in the environment you’re in. Work hard, listen to the good people around you and just focus on learning everyday! If you continuously learn you'll do well.
6. Who is your football idol, and why?
I try and learn from a lot of players, Xavi is my favourite player! Also Roy Keane is someone I look up too as he's from Cork. I love Xavi because of how he plays the game. He makes difficult things look simple. I'd love to get inside his head for a game and see what he's thinking. I enjoy watching him, trying to learn from watching him is an education in itself.
7. What would a typical day training at a professional football club be like?
At Burnley U-21 our typical day would be breakfast at around half nine everyday. Monday we would do a pre-hab session at around half ten for an hour or so. Lunch was at twelve and training at two. Tuesday was our match-day. Wednesday’s we normally had off. Thursday was a light training session and Friday/Saturday were more intense training days. Obviously you've other things going on during the week such as a gym session, video analysis but normally the intensity of our football sessions would be decided by the Sports Science staff. We were finished most days by about half one in the afternoon.
8. What’s the funniest thing you have seen within football?
Haha, that’s a tough one, I don't know really! Banter everyday is part and parcel of football so something funny happens nearly every day you’re in training! Nothing stands out.
9. What’s your best memory of playing the game to date?
My best memory was winning an Under-13 cup with the Cork Schoolboy's League Kennedy Cup squad. We went to Spain and won a trophy out there. We won 2-0 in the final and scored twice in the last two minutes. No better feeling than winning a cup final! My days playing Schoolboy's League football in Cork are the best memories. Paying €2 for the AstroTurf lights at training and €3 for the ref's fee on a Saturday haha...good times!
10. Your dream wag (Football term for wife)?
Back in the day it would have been Cheryl Cole! Messi's wife isn't bad either, I’ll probably go with her, sorry Leo haha.
11. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Playing at a very high level. Making plenty of money to give me and my family a great life and en route to achieving everything I want in the game.