DUE to the financial constraints of playing league of Ireland football, Anthony McAlavey chose to play in a league lower than his capability, but one that better suited him, his work and his family.
McAlavey, a talented footballer is playing in the Munster Senior league with Ringmahon and although he states it is a great standard with some of the best coaches in the country, there’s no denying he should be playing at a higher level.
However, providing for his family and having the stability of a full time job is priority for McAlavey for the moment but he doesn’t rule out playing at that level again in the future.
The 25 year-old father of one from Mayfield played his schoolboys soccer with Mayfield before moving to Rockmount where he won an U17 league title.
From here he moved onto Cork City U19 set up winning the league and cup double in his first year and the league in his second season.
When he didn’t break into City’s first team he decided to go back to Rockmount for a season before then being approached by Waterford where he spent three great seasons, winning the league in his last season with them.
He enjoyed his time in Waterford and here tells us about the experienced he gained while there.
“I spent three seasons at Waterford, winning the player of the year in my first season and winning the league in my third so it was a fantastic period,” said McAlavey.
“I loved it at Waterford.
"It's a very friendly family club and they took to me straight away.
"I still talk to a lot of people involved in the club and still get messages from a lot of fans there.
"In my first two seasons, the club was struggling financially so I was going there for pennies, but I just loved the buzz of playing in a good stadium in the RSC and in front of a few people really.
“We got taken over by Lee Power then so everything in the club changed and we got in top experienced players.
"From the second you walked in the door you could see the difference and the training just went up 10 levels.
"It definitely made me a lot better as a player because you just couldn't switch off without someone in your ear about it.
“Winning the league was unbelievable obviously but it kind of felt that bit better after seeing the club spending two seasons scraping wages together to keep the club in business.
"After we won the league the club decided to go full time which killed me because my girlfriend was pregnant at the time and we were trying to save for a mortgage and it's almost impossible to be approved as a footballer in Ireland never mind on the wage I was offered.
“I took the decision to go to Cobh as they were part time and I could still work around the training schedule so it suited me at the time.
“This season I decided to go to Ringmahon.
"I needed to be working full time and I just couldn't balance that with the commitments of league of Ireland.
"We're almost in our own place now so things have settled down a good bit so I think I would like to go back to it alright just depending on the situation as well.
“In saying that I am really enjoying my time here.
"We have a very good squad who take it very seriously and the managers are as committed as anyone in the country I'd imagine.
"Beside that though the team and managers are all a good laugh so everyone gets on with everyone apart from Paul Deasy," laughs McAlavey.
“The league is definitely a higher standard than people give it credit.
"100% there should be a lot of players in the Munster senior league playing League of Ireland.
"We’re delighted to be top of the league.
"To be fair, we haven't blown away anyone, everyone has given us a good battle but the best team we played was Corinthians.
"They battered us in their place and shocker we got them in the intermediate cup then.
“We have a lot of great guys involved in the running of the team.
"Basil is the manager he runs the show really.
"Kieran Reilly is the brains he does a lot of the coaching.
"John Naughton is the man who sorts everything.
"Gavin Crean is the extra pair of hands to help around training and matches and then Richie St Ledger minds people’s keys while they're training," joked the midfielder.
“For me, it’s all about enjoying the game and as long as I am doing that, is doesn’t matter what level I am at.
"I’m enjoying the season and it won’t be a successful one unless we win the league and hopefully have a good run in the Intermediate cup also.”