If there is a limit to Evan Galvin’s ambition, it’s not on show. Having grown up fast at Burnley, the Cabinteely player is as erudite when speaking off the pitch, as he is whilst playing on it.
Not one to dwell on setbacks, Galvin is equally ambitious when discussing his own future as he is when discussing that of his current club, Cabinteely.
Brian Strahan: So how do you feel with the first game of the season under your belt?
Evan Galvin: Relieved, pre-season wasn’t too bad to be fair because a lot of it was with the ball. But any player will want to play games. I’m delighted the season is up and running again now.
BS: Was that a conscious decision that a lot of pre-season was done with the ball?
EG: I just think it comes down to the manager and coaches at the club. Our staff Pat Devlin, Eddie Gormley and Graham O’Hanlon want to try and play, so using the ball makes sense. Some people will think you’re training for a marathon and others will try and mirror the running with what happens in a game. All of our running stuff was similar to what you do in a game; high intensity, interval type work. And if you’re playing small sided games enough and they’re done properly, you can get the work in there You don’t have to kill anyone – it just leads to injuries.
BS: Cabinteely always strike me as a smartly run club right throughout. Would I be right in saying that’s true of the coaching staff too?
EG: Yes, definitely. The club is ambitious and is well run. The media side are very active in promoting the club which is good, and Pat Devlin coming in has definitely stepped everything up a level. Eddie Gormley also has plenty of experience and to have him around is brilliant as most of the boys knew him from last year. Familiar faces have probably made the transition easier, especially for younger lads who were used to the same staff since the club went into the league. Graham O’Hanlon is on board too and has experience coaching at Bohemians. He’s younger as well, so we have a good blend now.
BS: The social media team are clever too. Who’s behind that?
EG: Dillon Foley. I’m not sure if it’s just Dillon or there is more people as well. He definitely has some good ideas with the Facebook live stuff and trying to get the club out there.
BS: What stands out is how he captures the imagination.
EG: Yeah, he definitely thinks outside the box. He’s young and probably open minded to trying different things to get us out there. No doubt he’s the right man to be doing the media side, as the club is trying to grow itself.
BS: Do you get frustrated when you see with short notice that only one team will get promoted this year? And next year the First division will be even tougher. Does stuff like that impede growth?
EG: Yeah, it’s a ridiculous decision. Whoever came up with the idea didn’t give it much thought. We can’t do anything about it though, so we need to focus on winning games and see where that takes us.
BS: Are you surprised there wasn’t a stronger reaction?
EG: I think there was a strong reaction. I don’t know too many people who didn’t think it was ridiculous but we can’t do anything about it. As soon as the decision was made I think managers will focus on getting players in and the players will get their heads around it and just focus on winning games.
BS: Is that a sufficient reaction do you think? People are annoyed but ultimately shrug their shoulders.
EG: There’s not much you can do, that’s the reality of it. We’re not going to boycott the league. It’s one season and then it’ll go back to normal in terms of a play-off, so it’s best to just get on with it and focus on what your able to control.
BS: How high can Cabinteely aim this season?
EG: Try and go up. No point in aiming to finish fourth or mid table because it’s better than last season when it’ll mean nothing. The club have plenty of ambitious people working to progress it, so the players have to be ambitious too. Obviously things don’t happen overnight but no point in saying “ah we’ll wait till next season” and then saying the same thing the season after. You have to be thinking about winning and coming first.
BS: Can Cabinteely win the league?
EG: I think anyone can. It’s wide open in the first division. Waterford look very strong with the players they have but they were beaten by Athlone. Cobh got to the play-off last year with a very average team. Drogheda went up and we beat them at Stradbrook. We’ve good players, Marty waters has signed, Cory [Galvin – his twin brother] is yet to come in, Jason Byrne has plenty of experience. In the first division there is very little between sides. We’ll take one game at a time and see where it goes.
BS: What’s Jason Byrne brought to the club?
EG: Two hundred odd goals; he’s scored everywhere he’s went. And experience. That’s what we struggled with last year. We have plenty of good young players but it’s vital to have some experience, we get that this year through Jason and Daire Doyle. Younger players can bounce things off them too. I’m only 21, but I had the benefit of being in England for three years, so that’s experience as well that’s helped me. Marty Waters has experience too so it’s a good mix.
BS: Whats your personal goal? To get back to England?
EG: Yes, or abroad. But obviously all of that will depend on how I perform. I have to perform at Cabinteely every week for anything to happen. Abroad as in Portugal, France Belgium. European places, not just England.
BS: You’re still very young. But same as the last time I interviewed you, you wouldn’t think it. Did England make you grow up quicker than your average Irish teenager?
EG: Yeah, one hundred per cent. This is what I mean by experience. Lads are playing in the League of Ireland First Division at eighteen or the under-15s, under-17s and under-19s, but they’re playing with their school friends. Still living at home, nothing changes. Playing in England is a completely different story, you’re back at digs by one, two o’clock, doing nothing – no friends or family . As I said before, your lobbed into an environment with a load of random people and you’re all competing, day in, day out. It takes time to adapt. But that’s what the real world is like and you’re better off getting on with it, rather than feeling sorry for yourself.
BS: You’re studying now too?
EG: I’m in FÁS at the moment, so I’m getting one or two qualifications from that. One of them is the ITEC in personal training, which I’ll have by the summer and a lifeguard qualification. I recently did on online course in Sports Psychology and I’m waiting on the results. I’m also doing my level 1 Weightlifting coaching course over the weekend. I’m thinking of doing a BSc in Strength and Conditioning as well in September. The football is still number one, but I probably won’t get a mortgage playing in the League of Ireland. Plus I have the time to do them at the moment and I’m into it.
BS: You strike me as very motivated.
EG: I am, football is number one and that’s where my focus is. But I’m a realist and while I’m still plugging away at football, I need to be getting things done, and if this doesn’t work out there’ll be no whinging about it and feeling sorry for myself. I’ll just carry on and turn my attention elsewhere; whether that be coaching or the strength and conditioning side. Whatever it is I want to do well anyway.