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Interview #3- Sean Russell
Sean Russell is an Irish soccer player with loads of talent and experience. Playing for the likes of Limerick, Galway, and Drogheda in Ireland. Also playing for both Louisville City and Atlantic City in America, Sean is a fantastic player with tons of experience. Currently dealing with an injury, he is working to get back on the pitch!
What was your youth development like as a kid?
I played football everyday on the streets with my friends and family from as young as I can remember. I played everyday after school and all weekend. I never put pressure on myself to be winning games with my club. It was all about having fun and I think this is the most important at a young age. When I turned 12/13 I think it gets more competitive as you begin to get more elite coaching and develop the tactical side of the game a bit more.
What advice would you give players who want to become pro?
The best advice I could give a young player wanting to make it as a pro is believing in yourself and practice. You must put in the hours. There’s always something you can do everyday to give yourself the best chance of being a success. If you put in these hours you’ve earned the right to be confident in your ability and the work you’ve put in. You will always make mistakes but reaction to those mistakes will be vital in the difference between making it as a pro.
With you playing for both Louisville City FC and Atlantic City FC, do you think it’s time for US to implement pro/rel?
Yes I definitely think it will be better for the game in the US. It will bring that extra element of excitement and pressure to players/ managers and even supporters. I've been part of promotion/ relegation playoffs in my career and they were the most amazing experiences in my career. The excitement and atmosphere is incredible.
What was your toughest obstacle in the journey to become pro?
The toughest obstacle I had was probably patience. You see people you play with getting trials and going abroad to pro teams in the uk and question what you're not doing right to warrant that opportunity. But it can happen when you're less expecting it. I learned to just keep working and be patient. Football is an amazing game and things can change very fast. Be patient and trust yourself.
You’ve played for several teams in both Ireland and America, overall what has moving teams taught you as a player?
The biggest thing I've learnt is no matter where you go the game doesn’t change. Their is of course different philosophy’s but the game stays the same. I was fortunate to get to mix with different cultures and learn from them. I would encourage anyone who
Has the opportunity to use football as a tool to travel and pick up new ideas about the game from other cultures do it!
What his the biggest difference between the Irish First Division, USL, and NPSL?
I think the USL is quite similar to the Irish premier division here. There is a bit of a gap between the top half of the table and the bottom. I think the top USL teams could definitely compete with the top premier division teams in Ireland. I would love to get back over to the US in the future to play again if I can get over my current injury. It’s definitely a goal of mine. I loved the Americans enthusiasm of the game. It was always positive.
Best player you have ever faced?
Best player you have played with?
Seanie McGuire currently at Preston North End.
Looking back on your time in the States, what did you take out from all of that?
I made some really good friends who are very passionate about football.
Do you have hobbies outside of football, if so what?
To switch off from sports I really enjoy family time and watching movies. Anything with Will Ferrell and I’m happy!
What are your goals for the future?
My main goal is to get back playing after the serious injury I picked up earlier this season. It’s a tough road ahead but my goal is to get back playing at the same level again.
Favorite player all time?
Messi is the greatest player of all time for me. But as a favourite growing up as an arsenal fan Dennis Bergkamp could do it all!
What separates an amatuer/semi pro to pro.
Consistency and attitude, ability only takes you so far.
There’s a couple. Probably a bit of Elvis “wonder of you” or “if I can dream” . I like my oldies.
Go to snack?
Most common snack is probably sweet chilli rice cakes. Can’t have enough of them.
“It’s the journey that counts, not the destination”
Nike or Adidas?
Turf or grass?
How is the recovery of your injury going?
Really difficult. I’m still awaiting surgery to start my rehab. My club has informed me they can’t help me so I’m doing my best to get help elsewhere. It’s really disappointing but I’m trying to stay positive. It's been beyond difficult the last few months since it happened. Hopefully I can get help soon.
In three words describe yourself?
Friendly, calm, positive.
Your biggest role model?
My father has had a big influence on me.
Any last words for the readers?
Any aspiring athletes reading believe in yourself and I wish you all the best in achieving your goals.
We want to thank Sean for his extreme kindness, he really could not have been nicer. We wish him the best of luck with his injury, hoping for a speedy recovery, he deserves it!
Image via https://www.irishmirror.ie/sport/soccer/soccer-news/limerick-have-given-assurances-sean-15857179
Blog by Chris Dailey
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A huge sports fan who loves to learn about all sports, from every corner of the world!