Monday 21 October 2019

'I was blanking calls from home. I'd rather watch Jeremy Kyle than talk to people'

Sean Kavanagh of Shamrock Rovers
Sean Kavanagh of Shamrock Rovers

Harry Clarke

SHAMROCK ROVERS defender Sean Kavanagh has opened up on the misery of his final days at Fulham.

The Dubliner returned home to the League of Ireland this time last year, agreeing a settlement with the Craven Cottage club for the remainder of his contract.

He had broken through to the Fulham side aged 20 in 2014 and made 21 league appearances for the club.

But the left back was frozen out after a number of changes in management and fruitless loan spells with Mansfield and Hartlepool.

In an open interview on the new LOI Weekly, Kavanagh admitted that his mental health suffered towards the end of his time with the Londoners as he found himself training away from the rest of the first team and then spending his afternoons on his own at home.

"I was nearly at breaking point," said Kavanagh, "I was training with the U21s who weren't even 21. They were probably 18, 19 and I'm 23. I was going home by myself with nothing to do and I just thought I need to get away from this. It's bad for your mental health. I just decided to come home.

"I'm sort of a weird one. When I'm actually feeling bad, I don't talk to anyone. It shouldn't be that way. I was blanking people. I would have phonecalls every ten minutes from my ma or my girlfriend or whatever and I was at home.

"I'd rather watch Jeremy Kyle than talk to them on the phone. My boy (his son Freddy who was back in Dublin) was the only one that I wanted to talk to."

Kavanagh admitted that he didn't tell anyone at Fulham that he was struggling with his situation.

"You put up a front when you go in," he continued. "You're in a changing room with, what, 20 lads?

"You can't go in and be down. Can you tell 20 lads, I don't feel great mentally here? I don't know. You probably have to put up a front and say I feel great, I look great, I'm playing great but at the end of the day I wasn't. Like I said, I wasn't even training with the first team.

"As soon as I got home and trained with Rovers and started playing, it's probably the most enjoyable time I've had in football. I found a big part of that was being around my family. I was able to go over to my grandad and have a cup of tea with him. It's the little things like that which I didn't do for five or six years."

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