CORK goalkeeper Micheál Aodh Martin reset his alarm clock last night for a much earlier start than usual.
Today, the 26-years old trainee accountant with PWC, will run 10km in the footballers’ fund-raiser for Pieta House. His starting time wasn’t finalised at the time of writing but Martin was on night shift duty.
“I’ll be getting up during the night to run my leg of the relay and I’ll be doing it on my own. Ian Maguire will start from the Barrs club along with a few other club colleagues before they hand it over.
“Nemo are second last in the running order with Ronan finishing it in Douglas,” Martin said.
Twenty four clubs are represented and the players will run a combined 432 kms.
The fundraising campaign was launched via a Go Fund Me page, which you can find via ‘Cork Club Together 4 Pieta’ on various social media channels.
“We tried to work it out between all of our clubs, mindful of the 5km exclusion zone that will be adhered to by everyone.
“Everyone can be tracked on the app, so there will be no getting away from it. We will all log our time onto the app and we’re also asking other club members if they want to do the same and compare times, when it’s all over.
“I don’t think, as a goalkeeper, I’ll be breaking any records. I’ve been doing a lot of 5kms since the lockdown, but 10km is a different matter, definitely pushing it. I’ll get through it, though.”
Martin has no history of running, starting out as a goalkeeper in hurling and soccer and playing in the forwards in football.
“I avoided playing in goal until I was about 15 or 16, having played outfield in Féile and things like that.
“People knew I had been playing in goal with Cork in soccer in the Kennedy Cup. I suppose it was always a matter of time before I ended up in goal in the football, but I had been avoiding it.
“I came to the conclusion, as the Nemo teams began to merge at U16, that if I wanted a game then it had to be in goal.
"I played with a very good College Corinthians team. We had the likes of Brian Linehan, Eoghan O’Connell, Jamie Davis and Conor Horgan in the side.”
Martin was delighted that Pieta House will benefit from the run.
“They do great work with people with mental health issues. Proportionately, it seems to affect younger men more and that was another important reason why the footballers chose Pieta.
“We’re trying to highlight the fact that mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of whether you play sport or not or the level you play at.
“Nobody is immune from it and I’m glad that we can highlight that as a team.
“People are dealing with this massive change in their lives with the pandemic and probably don’t have the same support network that they’d normally have.
“It’s an isolating time for young people because they’re not allowed meet their friends and this can exacerbate these problems.
“Pieta House is an unbelievable charity, especially at the darkest of times and they’re very good at what they do.
“Their Darkness into Light campaign has highlighted the problems, but the fund-raiser didn’t happen this year. We just want to play our part.
“There’s a steady traction in terms of building up the fund even though we were aware coming in that a huge number of clubs across Cork had played their part for various charities,” Martin concluded.