THE return of teams across Cork to training is a very much welcomed and refreshing sight.
Passage AFC man Cillian Quinlan is someone who is eager for the action to commence for numerous reasons, with a soccer scholarship in the USA also coming on the horizon.
Quinlan in the coming months is set to make the trip to join Iowa Lakes Community College.
This is an opportunity which Quinlan is really excited about and he outlines what the typical days in America will look like for him.
“I would be training six out of the seven days a week. We will have training sessions at 7am in the morning.
"Do that session and then it is into class and then back out have our lunch, do our gym work and the back out training again. That would be the schedule for six out of the seven days.
"We would then have two matches a week in our Conference; if we are not training six days a week.
“Then it gets put into a national championship depending on how well we do. Seeing from all of the other stats I am looking at and a few of my buddies that I would talk to over there, they are telling me how good the standard is over there.
“The coach who was in contact with me was involved with the Southampton FC academy until he moved over. So I am looking forward to seeing what type of development he can do for me and for everyone else out there.
“Going over there to get a degree, if all doesn’t work out, I can fall back on getting a degree and something I can take forward in life.
“I got most of my games recorded and put them into like a little clip. That got sent away to all different colleges around America.
“Thankfully I got a scholarship to Iowa Lakes. They are in the top-10 ranking in the whole of America for Junior soccer.
“Working with different types of coaches and players has helped me a lot to progress. So it is about now going over there and doing the most I can, come back and see where it takes me then.
“Either come back and play League Of Ireland, in the Munster Senior League or try to go to a different European country.
While playing with Passage, Quinlan has got to play alongside former Cork City FC stars in Mark O’Sullivan and Liam Kearney, both of whom have still been playing some football with the Munster Senior League side.
Quinlan outlines the benefits for him of getting the chance to line out with players who had fine footballing careers and impressed for many seasons at League Of Ireland level.
“Playing with and learning stuff off them has been brilliant. Them giving you tips like when you are on the ball, they’d tell you something and also in training sessions they would always help you out.
“It is a joy to play with them because you can see their standard is top level.”
Passage are set to make the move into the Munster Senior League Senior Second Division for the forthcoming campaign.
“I am really looking forward to getting back into training on the pitch a lot. Last season we were doing very well in the league, the likes of Liam Kearney and Mark O’Sullivan, who played with Cork City in the League Of Ireland, which was very good for us.
“Passage were a senior side before and then we went down to Junior. But this year we are making the step up to Senior.
"We are making the step up from the Junior 1st Division up to Senior.
“We feel it is the right time for the club to go up and it is the right time for everyone to get an opportunity to develop their game.
“Everyone is progressing themselves fitness-wise and ball work-wise. Coming back into the season, it is going to be a joy to watch seeing how everyone did their own thing during lockdown.
“Coming back into the season with everyone, we want to kick on as quickly as possible really.
“For me I have been doing my own work. I have been out training there in Blarney with Dave Hill and Derek Coughlan.
"They are helping me a lot.”