TREATY UNITED have rightfully received a lot of plaudits for what they have achieved so far this season.
The club sit joint-second in the First Division, and this week I spoke to their manager Tommy Barrett about the secret to their success, being an amateur team in the League of Ireland, full-time football in Ireland, and his views on Cork City’s season.
Treaty had a great result in Turner's Cross last weekend, winning 3-2.
On City’s season Barrett said: “I did expect more from City, but in fairness to them, they have been unlucky from what I’ve seen. In the two games against us, they had a lot more possession, they are playing good football but they are probably not clinical enough. I thought the other night they were unlucky. In saying that, we gave them two soft goals.
“That’s unlike us. We don’t give away soft goals like that. Other than that, they really didn’t create much until the last 10 minutes. Now, I know Alec Byrne should have scored, but that was the only other clear-cut chance.
“They're not missing too much. I think if they click, they might be alright. Cork seem to be building a possession-based team. I think that takes time to do that and get results.”
Speaking about the key to Treaty’s success, Barrett said: “At the start of the season, we put no goals in place. I used to do it. I used to think, ‘can we get 10 points from these next couple of games?’
“I did that when I started out because I thought it would be a good way of doing it. But I think then that puts limits on you because you set goals, and setting goals for the play-offs, people are expecting things from you and you are putting pressure on yourself.
“So, we just took it game by game. We went very negative in the first game (against Bray Wanderers) because we had only three weeks together and we just put 11 behind the ball and got a draw to build confidence.
“We got a win against Wexford then. After playing four or five games, we started playing a bit of football against Galway and got a 1-1 draw and that gave us the belief that we could play a bit more.
“It was just about building confidence for the first couple of games and that belief is there now.”
On being an amateur team, the Treaty manager said: “We haven’t been together long. There are things about our game I would change, but we don’t have much time to work on things, bar, working hard for one another. We keep training simplistic.
“I’m can’t force lads to stay at the club if another club wants to sign them. Because they are on amateur contracts; they are free to go.
“As much as I want all of our lads to stay, I can’t begrudge them either if they do decide to go full-time or part-time.
“I suppose, at least I do have a bit more time to try and get players in than at the start of the season when we had four days to sign an entire team before the deadline.”
When asked about full-time football in Ireland, Barrett replied: “Personally, my preference would be part-time, but I admire teams that try and go full-time. I just feel that with the finances in the league and my experience as part of a full-time set-up with Limerick, I’ve seen how things can go wrong when clubs take a risk and exceed their budget for success. It’s not fair on everyone involved to take such a risk.
“I look at managers and coaches in the league and think part-time is more suitable and less of a risk.
“The way the country is now, and even looking at the little backing from the government for the league, I think it has to be part-time for the foreseeable future.
“I was fortunate that when I was full-time, my other job was accommodating. We used to do an early gym session around 8am, then be on the pitch at 9.30am, and be finished by 11am.
“I don’t see myself ever been in that position again. I can only see myself staying part-time for the foreseeable future.”