HE BELIEVES that he is at the pinnacle of his career, playing his best football to date, and in the best shape of his life, with the team having a great season.
Unfortunately for Ringmahon Rangers' Patrick O’Brien, Covid-19 brought a halt to all matters soccer-related.
This season O’Brien was in flying form, part of a squad that were destined for success. Until the Covid-19 disrupted and then shut down the MSL, Rangers were on a roll but at least there is still the possibility of success in the FAI Intermediate Cup later in the year.
The pacy winger from Mahon was having a great season and his latest highlight was scoring the winner against his former club College Corinthians in the quarter-final of the FAI Intermediate Cup.
The Mahon club are due to play Killester Donnycarney in the semi-final but nothing is concrete yet around a date for the playing of this game.
This is a disappointing and frustrating factor no doubt for all involved and for O’Brien, he feels the league made the call way too early to suspend all football for the remainder of the season.
“It is very disappointing for us as a team that the season was cancelled,” said O’Brien.
“The players and management put so much work into the season. Pre-season was tough, the games we played were tough, huge efforts have been put into training sessions as well as a lot of work done by the management and committee off the field and for what?
“It now seems like it was all for nothing so yes it is very disappointing.
“I feel the league was called a bit too soon. I believe there will more than likely be a time frame where it could have been finished especially with midweek games coming in. Speaking with others from other clubs, a lot of people feel the same.
“With all the effort and hard work put in by all clubs over the year, I just feel the league committee made the call to cancel, way too soon.
“Prior to the league being cancelled, it was looking like a two-horse race between ourselves and Rockmount, so for all the teams in the league to have the vote to decide whether the league would be finished or not, was a bit mad I thought.
“The league should have made the decision themselves because teams battling to stay up and prevent relegation were always going to vote against the league going ahead so the league made a mess of that I feel.
“I don’t believe they thought it out enough.”
The 30-year-old father of one, to son Parker, started his football playing days with Ringmahon at an early age.
However, wanting to better himself and play with and against better teams, in better facilities, he decided to move to College Corinthians, and there, he was part of very successful underage squads, always supported by his ever-present dad, who is a major influence in his career.
“I started playing with Ringmahon at a very young age but back then the facilities for underage soccer wouldn’t have been what they are today so I played most of my underage football with College Corinthians.
“I had some great times over the years being part of a very successful squad all through the years. “We were very successful winning leagues and cups almost every year which led to representing Cork at youths level.”
Since returning to his local side Ringmahon O’Brien is loving life and enjoying football more than ever.
“This year has probably been the most enjoyable year of football because of the group we have. It’s the best squad I have ever been involved in and we were extremely strong footballing wise.
“The disappointing factor about the season being cancelled is the fact that this season was going exactly how we had planned and had trained for all through pre-season.
“Still part of the FAI Intermediate Cup and fighting for the league were our main aims. Reaching the semi-final of the FAI Cup is a great feeling.
“Throughout the competition, we showed character and togetherness as a team to dig in certain games.
“For me, to score against Corinthians was a brilliant feeling and even though it was only a tap I was delighted, as of late I felt I wasn’t scoring as many as I would normally do.
”However, on a personal note, I was very happy with how my season was going. It’s the fittest I’ve been in a few years and no injuries so I felt I was probably playing to the best of my ability and most of all I was enjoying my football under Basil, Kieran and the lads.
“With the uncertainty of whether or not the FAI Intermediate Cup will be played out this season, O’Brien and his team continue to train, and they will no doubt be prepared for the new season if all else fails.
“We’re not sure yet whether or not the Intermediate Cup will be played however, we are still tipping away with training, as either way, we will be raring to go for next season.
“Kieran had sent us all running drills and fitness programmes so all players are tipping away and keeping in shape and staying fit.
“Basil and the lads to be fair always check up and send text into the group to make sure everybody is still been positive and have the same determination to be ready for what lies ahead.
“Our aim is to go and win everything we can next year again with the same team of players and management.
“Ringmahon has become a family bond and everybody has the same desire collectively which is brilliant and fantastic to be part of.
“With the management we have, it makes it very easy for us to want to play and win for them and with that in mind, the team of players are ready to give 100% to whatever faces us in the near future.”