Thursday 21 September 2017

'It's far from a life of luxury' - James McClean dispels myth about modern footballers

James McClean
James McClean
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Being a Premier League player allows you to be able to buy nice things but it far from a cosy life, according to Republic of Ireland international James McClean.

The 28-year-old is renowned for his work ethic both on and off the field and is enjoying the trapping of a being a player in the English top flight with West Brom.

From the outside looking in, many feel that being a modern professional is as much about celebrity and a luxury lifestyle but McClean claims this is far from the truth.

"People say being a footballer is a life of luxury. It's far from a life of luxury," he told Jarlath Regan on An Irishman Abroad, in association with FAISeasonTickets.ie.

"Of course, you have the luxury to go and buy things that other people can't but at the end of the day you're still human, you're still lonely, you make sacrifices. You miss a lot of events. It's a 24-7 job.

"You can't say that you train 2-3 hours a day but you have to watch what you eat, you have to look after your body. If you want to get in the best shape possible then you've got to go to bed at a certain time, you've got to prepare right.

"The whole 'football is a life of luxury'... trust me, it's not. If you're a young guy going across on your own, it's very lonely as well.

"There is a lot of pressure and expectation and if you're not at it, especially in the Premier League when the eyes of the world are on you for every move, you have to be 100pc in every game."

McClean also has the added pressure of being a figure of his derision because of his decision not to wear a commemorative poppy.

He can't alway ignore it but he says it uses it in a positive manner.

"I get booed a lot. I'm not deaf, of course I hear it but there is hearing it and taking it on board. For me, it's water off a duck's back. I hear it but it doesn't affect me," he added.

"At the start when it happened I was like, 'Woah! what's this about?'. I knew why they didn't like it me, it wasn't nice nut you go on and you get used to it.

"They way I see it I could let it get me down or I could view it in the right way and use it as motivation. Luckily for me, it seems to be the latter."

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