AS A consequence of the coronavirus crisis, Conor McCarthy is back on Leeside and has been given a fitness programme while waiting for the football season to get back underway.
The 21-year-old made the move from Cork City to Scottish Premier League side St Mirren back in January.
In a time of uncertainty and not knowing when football will resume, McCarthy feels being focused will be key.
McCarthy said: “I’m actually really disciplined. We know we have to look after ourselves and that’s part of the job.
“I have to thank my mother for that. She realised I can’t be eating tins of biscuits so she generally doesn’t bring them into the house.
“Whatever I say I can’t eat, she has been really on top of her game so I have to thank her. If I was on my own in Scotland I think it would be different!
“There is no set day for when the season starts up but I think most footballers will be disciplined in that respect.”
Prior to last season’s disappointing season, McCarthy was used to challenging at the top and for honours with Cork City.
McCarthy signed for City at underage level in 2014 from Blarney United and worked his way up the ranks, making 50 appearances over the last two years and ending the 2019 season as captain.
During his time at City, he was in a setup which was successful in securing League Of Ireland and FAI Cup honours.
That is not the case in Scotland where St Mirren sit fourth from bottom. The recent defeat away to Celtic was a reality of where McCarthy’s new side are at, but it was an experience at Parkhead which he hopes to learn from.
“It was strange going to Celtic knowing that you weren’t expected to get anything from the game,” McCarthy said to PA Sport.
“One minute you are fighting for leagues in Ireland and then in a couple of months, you see that these lads are a way ahead of you.
“There is no doubt that Celtic are the best team in the league and the quality of players was at a different level.
“I watched the game back and there was stuff that the Celtic players did that I can take into my game.
“It was a tough watch but these are the things you need to do. You have to learn, that is the only way you are going to improve.”
McCarthy is not the only Leesider to line out for St Mirren in recent times.
Former City defender Sean McLoughlin also spent six months at St Mirren, going there on loan after signing for Hull.