HAVE YOU ENJOYED GETTING BACK INTO PLAYING AGAIN SINCE YOUR ARRIVAL AT BERWICK?
RW: Yes it’s been great to get the boots back on after spending a couple of seasons concentrating on my Physio work with Shamrock Rovers. I hadn’t played since leaving Brechin City. I just wasn’t enjoying my football back then and I must admit the travelling up and down to Brechin from Edinburgh was getting me down.
HOW HAS IT BEEN GETTING BACK INTO THE SWING OF THINGS AFTER A COUPLE OF SEASONS NOT PLAYING?
RW: On the fitness side of things I’m perhaps still a little bit behind the rest of the squad but that will come in the next few weeks. I trained a bit with some of the players who were coming back to fitness when I was doing my Physio work with Shamrock Rovers but I’m getting there.
WHAT’S YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SEASON SO FAR?
RW: We’ve done well in the cups but it seems as though we’ve hardly played any league games at home. Now the cups are out of the way until November we can really give the league a good go.
YOUR OLD CLUB CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN MAKING HEADLINES IN RECENT WEEKS – ANY REGRETS ON LEAVING?
RW: No I’ve not regrets as I hadn’t intended to make the move over there permanent. Basically when I took the job I was staying in Dublin during midweek and returning home to Edinburgh for weekends because most of the games in the Irish League are on a Friday night. However, more-and-more were getting re-scheduled to Sunday’s and it was getting harder and harder to get back home. It was a big step to leave my family here and I was missing home. Not just that you don’t get paid during the close season.
I’m working in a Sports Physiotherapy Practice in the Capital these days. I’m pleased for the boys back at Rovers, they will sampling the delights of Spurs, Rubin Kazan and PAOK Salonika. That’s the way football is unfortunately, I’ll be cheering them on when they play in Europe and I’m still pals with a lot of players at the club.
SO HOW COME A SMALL CLUB LIKE SHAMROCK ROVERS IN A PART-TIME LEAGUE CAN MAKE IT INTO THE EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP STAGES AND OUR CLUBS COULDN’T?
RW: The league set-up over in Ireland does certainly help their clubs in Europe. They play from March to November which means your slap bang in the middle of the domestic league season when the European campaign gets underway. Not just that there is less chance of games being called off due to the weather. Ok, you can still get heavy rain during them
months which occasionally puts games off but there is less chance of snow and frost intervening. Crowds are up, the fans seem to prefer to come and watch football in the warmer weather it’s certainly something the authorities should be looking at over here.
HOW DID THE CHANCE ARISE TO GO TO IRELAND?
RW: The manager over there was Michael O’Neill who was my gaffer at Brechin. I’d known Michael for years as he used to train with Alloa Athletic when I played there under Terry Christie and he was playing over in Northern Ireland with Glentoran.
Thanks to Chris Sanderson for the interview