Conor McCarthy focusing on the future after injury setback at St Mirren

23-year-old Cork defender is highly rated after some impressive displays against Celtic and Rangers
Conor McCarthy focusing on the future after injury setback at St Mirren

St Mirren's Conor McCarthy and Livingston's Gavin Reilly battle for the ball at Hampden Park. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire. 

FORMER Cork City defender Conor McCarthy admits that he would be open to the idea of playing in one of Europe’s mainland leagues in the future.

McCarthy is keen to learn Spanish in the coming months after opting not to go back to University this year.

The St Mirren player had planned on taking on a graduate apprenticeship in Glasgow University in September but interest from Rotherham United and Oxford United meant the Cork native could not commit to the course.

“I definitely wouldn’t rule out playing in Europe sometime in the future. It would be something that would certainly interest me. I’m thinking about learning a new language and Spanish has always been of interest to me,” McCarthy said.

“My original plan was to go back to University again this year but because I was unsure of my future; I couldn’t commit to the course. I knew of interest from Rotherham and Oxford and they seemed keen on signing me.

“With the course; it involved working in Scotland for a year and by the time the application date was due, I was still unsure of my future. By the time I knew I would be staying at St Mirren, the deadline had passed.

“But I’m always keen to further my education which is why I would like to learn Spanish.

“I could have applied earlier and knew that if the move didn’t materialise, which it didn’t, then I would have been able to go on the course.

“But, I thought to myself, ‘what if I get on the course and do have to move location and cannot go on the course’?

St Mirren's Conor McCarthy is set to miss the rest of 2021 after being told he could need ankle surgery. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.
St Mirren's Conor McCarthy is set to miss the rest of 2021 after being told he could need ankle surgery. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.

“Would that have meant that someone who had initially applied to get on the course and missed out because someone like myself was on it, would be able to take my place instead if I rejected the course so late?

“It would have been selfish of me to apply when I was unsure if I could take the course.

“You never know, speaking Spanish might be something that would benefit me in football in the future but it is certainly something that would be an advantage when I do finish my playing career and find a job in the business sector.”

FRUSTRATION

After finding himself out of the side at the beginning of the season because of the speculation surrounding his future, McCarthy has been sidelined the last number of weeks due to an injury the defender picked up against Livingston towards the end of November. He has undergone surgery for his injury and could be out beyond the start of the New Year.

“I tore my ATFL in my ankle against Livingston. It holds the tibia and fibula together in the ankle. I badly damaged it and it required surgery in order for it to heal. The injury could keep me out for a number of weeks.

St Mirren's Conor McCarthy battling Rangers' Alfredo Morelos. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire.
St Mirren's Conor McCarthy battling Rangers' Alfredo Morelos. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire.

“I don’t know if I will get a few days off over Christmas because the physio is very hands-on here and I’m sure he will want to work with me and see my progress every day.

“But I can still chance my arm and ask the question,” McCarthy joked. “It’s unfortunate because I will miss a lot of games over the coming weeks.

I have already missed a few games at the beginning of the season because I was out of the team because the manager felt it wasn’t fair on me to put me into the team when my future wasn’t 100 percent clear.”

One of McCarthy’s teammates at St Mirren Jamie McGrath has been heavily linked with a move away from the Scottish club. Working with the Republic of Ireland international every day means McCarthy knows better than anyone the attributes McGrath possesses.

“He is an excellent player. He is very intelligent and it’s no surprise to keep seeing his name mentioned with other clubs.

“I actually think it’s been a bit more challenging for him these last few weeks because teams are taking more notice of him and he is becoming a marked man.

“For him; it’s more difficult because teams are often using two players to stop him but then from a team’s perspective it helps us because other teams are using up so many resources to stop him and it gives us more space in the pitch.”

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