Tuesday 24 April 2018

Jason Sherlock: 'Roy Evans had spoken to me about the move directly'

Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans. Photo: Getty Images
Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans. Photo: Getty Images

Jason Sherlock

A few hours into the celebrations in 1995 I sat down in the Dubliner Bar for a serious chat with Kevin Moran, and if ever there was a sliding door moment in my life, that was it.

"What do you want to do?" Kevin asked, referring to the speculation that I was set for a cross-channel soccer career. "I want to enjoy this," I replied. But if Kevin had been him saying, 'Well done today, but for the betterment of your career I'm putting you on a flight to Liverpool tomorrow, good luck!' Would I have gone?

'I sat down in the Dubliner Bar for a serious chat with Kevin Moran' Photo: Sportsfile
'I sat down in the Dubliner Bar for a serious chat with Kevin Moran' Photo: Sportsfile

In hindsight that was the only week to do it, to make the move.

At that moment in time, however, I didn't realise any of this. I was only 19 and could sense no urgency. For the next two years I had to listen to the stories that Liverpool wanted me, but the window had closed by then because my life and career in Ireland simply exploded after the All- Ireland final.

But did Liverpool really want me? There was never any concrete dealing, but Roy Evans had spoken to me about it directly.

Quick

At the start of the 1995-96 Premiership, Roy told a reporter: "We played UCD at the end of last season and I was very impressed with Jason. He might not be the biggest striker but he is very quick. I said at the time I would consider offering him a chance and within the next fortnight I hope to get him over to see how he shapes up.

"Just because we are a big club doesn't mean that we are not interested in seeing if we can develop players like Jason. It has to be in our interests - especially when you consider the crazy prices which are now being quoted for players in England."

Unfortunately or otherwise, 'the next fortnight' coincided with Dublin winning the All- Ireland. And assuming the inevitability of things just falling into place on the soccer front, and wanting to enjoy the fruits and spin- offs of my labour with the Dubs, I stayed put and celebrated.

If I was going to choose the cross- channel route and avail of the technical coaching involved, I probably needed to build there and then on the momentum with Roy, but it wasn't even on my radar after the four months I had just had with Dublin.

I told Kevin I'd hang around at home for a while longer. I wanted to enjoy the win with the lads and I think that was understandable. There was no sense of urgency.

Little did I know the rise and rise of 'Jayo' on the sports field was about to come to a sudden jolt, never again reaching the heights of that summer of 1995.

Irish Independent

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