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George O’Callaghan: How Not To Travel To St Pats

by March 6, 2020

Cork City make the trip to Dublin tonight to take on St Patrick’s Athletic.

When you follow the Cork City players on social media, it is such a different world from my first trip to St. Pats.

These days the players get no leniency as everything is looked at in such fine detail.

Players are on strict diets and every kilometre they run is stored away.

Let me tell you about my first experience of a trip away to St Pats.

As normal we would meet at Rochestown Park at 1pm.

Most of the lads were part time, apart from four of us, the rest of the lads were coming from work.

I was just back home from playing with Port Vale in the Championship and League 1 so I was used to professional day to day football and life.

As the journey up to the capital begins, by the time we reached Watergrasshill, the back of the bus would be full of smoke like a pub in the 80s.

Then as usual our stop-off at the garage in Fermoy, everyone piling in for crisps, cans of coke, and whatever
crap you can put in your body.

What I remember mostly about this trip is that Liam Murphy was changing our pre-match meals from
beans on toast to chicken and jacket potato or pasta which was a great improvement on what we
normally had.

As we were sitting at the dinner table, we started to tuck into our food.

A waitress came across with two jugs of gravy and as the lads scrambled to grab the gravy, Murph shouted down ‘NO
GRAVY, WE HAVE A MATCH TONIGHT!’

Me being me, couldn’t keep my mouth shut so I decided to tell

Murph ‘Half the team have been smoking the whole way up, we ate the worst possible food to the fact that one of the lads lost his front tooth on a Refresher and now you’re saying no gravy?’

Our midfielder at the time, Greg O’Halloran, turned to me and said ‘welcome to the League of Ireland George.’

When I look back its hard to believe that we went out and played in these games, that was the culture at
the time and funnily enough it was the best times in my career.

Every single one of them lads in that City team are the ones you want to be in the trenches with.

Hopefully the trip will be a bit better tonight and City get the three points again this week.