United fit the bill for McGlynn
IT must be difficult for senior players to psyche themselves up for mid-season lunchtime friendly matches in front of just a smattering of spectators - but try telling that to Peter McGlynn.
He may have swapped Major League Soccer in California for the unfashionable SSE Airtricity League, but when he donned the number 6 jersey for last week's Drogheda games against MK Dons and Warrenpoint Town, the 25-year-old was just delighted to be back playing.
Now the Skerries native is keeping everything crossed that his international clearance comes through in time to be considered for what would be his competitive debut against Shamrock Rovers this Friday.
McGlynn, whose father Ken played for Bohemians and at underage level for Ireland, began his American adventure in college football with UC Santa Barbara, but having joined San Jose Earthquakes in February 2013, the move turned sour when he spent most of the season sidelined through injury and last December he was released from his contract.
It was through Drogheda defender Paul Andrews, who also played in the States during his early 20s, that McGlynn ended up at the club's training grounds in Mosney, but it's only in the past three weeks that the transfer window has afforded Drogheda the opportunity to sign him.
So the scheduling of these two friendlies could hardly have been more timely for the right-sided player who spent his entire schoolboy days and early adulthood with Shelbourne.
'They've been hugely important games for me because I hadn't played any other competitive games since last June,' McGlynn acknowledged.
'I've been out of the game for nine months because I had surgery on my hip - I had osteitis pubis for a long time and it was something that wasn't going to go away - so it's all about getting match-fit for me.
'It doesn't matter how often I train, it's all about games at the moment.'
Asked about the Andrews connection, McGlynn explained: 'I knew Paul from my time in the States and knew he was training with Drogheda, so when I came back from the States a few months ago I asked Robbie [Horgan] if I could come up training and he said 'no problem'.
'Unfortunately the international clearance deadline had passed, so I couldn't actually sign then, so I was just training for a few months, but I got on with the lads pretty well and I'm happy enough here.'
Drogheda, the town and the club, could hardly be any more different to San Jose and the city's big soccer club the Earthquakes, who are great rivals of Robbie Keane's LA Galaxy, but McGlynn insists he's settled in well to his new surroundings.
'It is a big change, but I only live up the road, so I knew what I was coming into and I'm enjoying it and just looking forward to playing games,' he said.
'I don't think MLS gets as much credit as it should. There's a lot more variety of styles over there, a lot of south American players who like to keep the ball pretty well - and the Americans are very athletic, so you have a kind of mixture.
'It's a pretty good standard and it was a good experience for me and I loved every minute there even though I was injured for a good bit of it.'
McGlynn was initially hopeful of securing international clearance to be available for the Bray Wanderers game on July 4th and admits he's stopped asking for updates as the process has dragged on much longer than expected.
But whether he plays against Shamrock Rovers or not, he's hoping his new club can take a small step towards safety from the drop.
'Any result right now is great,' he said, unable to hide the strong American twang he has gained during his time across the Atlantic.
'You can see the lads playing with a lot more confidence these days and there's a lot more spirit and we're starting to pick up a little bit of momentum. Now we just need to start putting points on the board - It doesn't matter who we're playing against.
'It will be a big game and it'll be tough, but we're looking forward to it and if we settle into the game quickly, you never know what could happen.
'I have full confidence that his team can play anyone off the park. It's all about putting it together on the field at the same time.'
In terms of his own ambitions for this season and beyond, McGlynn insists that he hasn't really considered them - it's all about the here and now.
'I'm not looking too far ahead, not past the next game really. I just want to get out there on the pitch and start playing games because I've been out too long.
'There's a lot of competition at right-back, and I don't know what Darius' plans are, but I don't care where I play - right-back, right wing - it doesn't make a difference to me right now.'