Wednesday 13 November 2019

Commitment debate rages on as Darran O'Sullivan quits job to put Kerry football career first

As Kerry's Darran O'Sullivan reveals he has quit his job to concentrate on his football career, the debate is raging as to whether too much is being asked of amateur players in intercounty set-ups. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
As Kerry's Darran O'Sullivan reveals he has quit his job to concentrate on his football career, the debate is raging as to whether too much is being asked of amateur players in intercounty set-ups. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Injury-ravaged Kerry star Darran O'Sullivan has packed in his banking job to focus completely on his recovery from a hip operation.

The 28-year-old's revelation comes as the debate rages as to whether too much is being asked of amateur players in intercounty set-ups.

The 2009 All-Ireland winning captain took the extraordinary decision back in November after he failed in repeated attempts to regain full fitness on Kerry's journey to All-Ireland SFC success last year, and he believes that he made the right call.

"I left Ulster Bank in November, to concentrate on keeping the body right," O'Sullivan explained. "It just wasn't suiting me. "I was there seven years, had a great time, and learned a lot, but I just couldn't see my future there. And it just wasn't ideal for getting my body right. I knew I needed to focus more time on it, to rehab."

O'Sullivan insists his decision to leave his job suit his particular set of circumstances and isn't a sign of things to come.

"I found it very hard because everything about the GAA now is professional, bar the status. I can't say it's not manageable, because some fellas can manage and do it fine.

Read more: Darran O'Sullivan: I’m definitely not going to be a professional GAA player... I don't think I'd survive on travel expenses

"But personally, I'm looking at my football career, I'm 28 now, there aren't too many years left, so I just wanted to get the most out of it."

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

O'Sullivan is doing some work with Sky as part of their 'Living for Sport' programme but otherwise is working towards returning to full fitness and admits he faced some opposition when he revealed his plans.

"Obviously, financially, I have to be cute with the money. . . It's fine," he said. "You find a way, and so far I'm finding a way. Once I get the body right, and get back playing, it will make a big difference, personally.

"Because last year I found it hard. I was torture for the family, torture for the girlfriend, was moody, and fed up a lot. Mentally, that was draining, and I was going into work and not getting a great kick out of it. I enjoyed the people I was working with, but there was no challenge in it for me. I just felt if I kept doing it over again I'd crack.

"I'll be missing the start of the league. I've talked to Eamonn (Fitzmaurice) about it, and the medical team, and there are still a few small issues that were bothering me last year. I need to get them right."

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport