Sport League of Ireland

Friday 20 September 2019

'I feel there is a lot more in us over the next few years'

Christy Fagan tells Cian Tracey why he is sticking with St Pat's despite talk of a move elsewhere

Christy Fagan is happy that he made the right decision by staying with St Pat’s Picture: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
Christy Fagan is happy that he made the right decision by staying with St Pat’s Picture: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

By his own admission, there were times in the past when Christy Fagan made decisions in his career that proved to be wrong, so when he weighed up his options over the last couple of months, the 27-year old remembered those past mistakes and came to the conclusion that staying at St Pat's was the right call to make.

There was no shortage of attractive offers for the league's best striker, who although has had his injury problems in the last couple of seasons, is still very much sought-after.

Dundalk and Bray were just two of the several clubs interested in signing the former Man United youth but after he discussed potential moves with other clubs, he promised himself that he wouldn't make the same mistake again.

"I'm happy (at Pat's) and that's it," Fagan insisted.

"I enjoy going into training. There's no struggle to get myself out of bed in the morning to go in and train. I enjoy going in. I enjoy the lads. That's it really.

Package

"I think that's what it came down to in the end. It suited everything - not just money, not being the best team in the league. It was the whole package. A lot of things came together.

"You have to be comfortable and happy wherever you're playing as well as obviously being able to earn a decent living. I got a two-year contract which is a bit of security. It's just a lot of things that came together and I was happy enough in the end.

"There was a couple of times throughout my younger years where I made the move for the wrong reasons, whether it be money or it be something else.

"You think that you could play a bit more somewhere else or you might win a trophy somewhere else and you learn from that.

"A couple of moves didn't work out for me. I'd said that I'd enjoyed my time at Pat's so far, so hopefully there's a couple of good years left for me there."

There is little doubt that better financial offers lay away from Inchicore but Fagan has cemented himself as a cult hero at Richmond Park and he wasn't about to pass that up too easily either.

Saints' miserable season however, did force the striker to seriously reassess his options. A seventh-place finish fell way below the expectations of everyone at the club but Fagan believes that the current squad is good enough to close the gap on Dundalk and Cork.

"It was our worst season since I've been there," he said.

"I know we did win the EA Sports Cup but I think we finished seventh - I'm not even too sure. I think it was seventh in the league which is the worst since I've been there.

"Obviously I did have to take that into account. I don't think I want to be finished up winning trophies just yet. I want to win a couple more and be in a team where I think we can have a go at things. So it was part of my thinking. I think everybody has recognised how bad it was last year but we're looking to try and rebuild and go again.

"Even with the squad we had last year, we massively underachieved. Although Cork and Dundalk have great squads and are without doubt the strongest over the last couple of years, I think seventh for us is a massive underachievement.

"I feel there is a lot more in us and hopefully over the next couple of years, we can get more out of ourselves."

While Fagan may have been in demand in this off-season, he knows how tough it can be for players in this country to earn new contracts.

After he left Bohs in 2011, Fagan struggled to find a new club and spent time with the PFAI's training squad before Liam Buckley eventually signed him for Pat's.

"Obviously I did speak to other clubs. Liam (Buckley) and Pat's knew that," Fagan admitted.

"I wouldn't say I was close (to leaving) or that it was never going to happen. I was out of contract, I was negotiating with clubs.

"It was obviously good for myself because I had offers. I've been at the other end of the stick when I did the PFAI camp after I left Bohs. You're looking for a contract so it is nice to have offers having had the other experience."

Irish Independent

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