Saturday 20 January 2018

The Fielder: No substitute for experience

The real adventures of an inter-county footballer


The Fielder

That morning my ritual started off as usual. After springing out of the bed at 8.30, I grabbed a protein shake and a fun-size Mars bar from the goodies press. I then hopped in my car and headed off to count the cattle.

On my return, I threw a Berocca into a pint glass of water and wedged seven Weetabix into a bowl before dousing them with milk. Balancing my breakfast carefully on my knees, I settled down in front of the telly to admire that Holly Willoboobie one off This Morning (switching over to TV3 for the ad breaks; Cybil still has it lads).

After breakfast I headed into the ould lad's office and clicked onto Facebook. "Ah jaysus Maaaaam get off the phone! I'm trying to use the internet!"

As I scrolled down through my news feed, still half asleep, I noticed some similar status updates beginning to appear. I perked up and began to investigate. "Got my results! Passed everything. So happy!"

Oh Christ. It was exam results day. All of a sudden my palms became lubricated under a thin layer of fresh sweat and my heartbeat accelerated. This was it, the final exam results of my college career. Pass these, and I would be free from repeats, all-nighters, libraries, assignments and dodgy landlords forever.

I took a deep breath and navigated into the university website, my hand shaking like a suck calf in a snowstorm. Closing my eyes, I hit the results tab. Another deep breath . . . and I opened my eyes.

"Get up you little daisy! I'm a feckin' genius." I exclaimed, dancing around the room with glee.

I'd done it. I was a fully qualified agricultural scientist.

"Maam, I passed, I passed. Where's me present?"

I felt like going on the rip there and then; but the little matter of the provincial championship meant that the alcohol-based celebrations would have to be put on the back burner for a while.

I calmed down and headed back into the office to share the good news on Facebook. The adrenalin was still coursing through my system and I accidentally clicked on the 'settings' menu instead of the 'go' arrow above it. As I swung the pointer back towards its intended destination, a light bulb flickered in my head. I selected 'settings' and scrolled downwards, clicking into the 'history' sub menu. I leant forward and examined the screen carefully.


A week later I was sitting in the same chair looking at the same screen, only this time the mood was somewhat different. I was panicking. The unwelcome realisation that I now needed to choose a career path and find myself a job had violently dawned on me like rain clouds on the day of a silage cut. I sat there, staring blankly at the monitor. A sorry-looking page of virtual drivel stared back at me – the old CV. My situation meant that I'd spent my holidays driving tractors every year since I could reach the pedals. I had little business experience or communications skills.

I decided to start out with my grades; at least they would fill up some space. I didn't need to tell any yarns here either; though I gave myself an extra 30 points in my Leaving Cert. They'd hardly check those sort of things would they? When that was done, I moved on to my experience. Or lack of. I decided to tell the truth, well mostly.

"Farmer (1996 – Present)"

Someone told me that it looked good if you had longevity in your job and also that they liked hiring people who were employed at the time of application. There were two boxes ticked anyway. I racked my brains. Did a footballer count? Probably not, but maybe.

"GAA coach – Cúl Camps (2008)"

Though you may remember I got the bullet after just three days when one of my five-year-olds went AWOL and was found by the Gardaí across town; they didn't need to know that. Hmmm, what next?

"Fluid Distribution Officer, Local GAA Team (2012 – Present)"

I know what you're thinking, that looks a lot like a 'waterboy' but there's much more to it than that, I swear. I nodded my head contentedly. This was starting to take shape! What next?

"Altar Boy, St Petunia's Church (1999 – 2002)"

I was beginning to scrape the barrel now; one more maybe, to give it some bulk. I massaged my temples. What else could I throw in?

"Head of Automobile Organisation and Security, St Petunia's Cemetery (2012)"

I'd parked the cars at my grand aunt's funeral last year, Lord have mercy on the poor divil. I was getting desperate, but at least I was filling up the page.

The 'achievements' section wrote itself. I started from the beginning.

Under 8 All-County hurling blitz bronze medallist (1998)

Under 11 Most improved footballer (2000)

Blue Dolphin Swimming Badge for five uninterrupted lengths (2001)

6th Class Talent Show Runner-Up (2002)

Junior Macra Sheep Shearing Champion (2004)

Under 16 County Football Champions (2007)

Debs King (Class of 2009)

Minor Club Football Captain (2009) A good year for me.

Senior County Football Champion (2010)

Inter-County GAA Panellist (2011 – Present)

Full Clean Driving Licence (Only four points, it was clean enough)

My CV was looking well and after a quick spellcheck I hit print and walked out to the kitchen where the little brother was tucking into a bacon butty.

"Go into town there and get me a binding folder and some ink for the printer when you're finished that."

He stopped eating and looked at me as if I'd two heads. After a few seconds, he spoke.

"Lad, there's more chance of our new bull winning the Grand National than there is of me going into town for you, and you know that. Go and shite!"

I smiled.

"Oh really," I replied confidently, "the internet's a great thing isn't it; some great sites. Personally, I like www.hotxxxgir...."

He leapt off his seat like a startled kitten."Alright I'm going."

For more, follow The Fielder on Twitter at @TheFielder2

Irish Independent

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