Powell plots new course as he prepares to move abroad
CONOR POWELL is desperate to secure a move abroad to prolong his football career, but he almost had to draw on another set of developing skills in preparation for today's FIFPRO tournament.
Powell will be closely watched by ex-Drogheda midfielder Sami Ristila, now manager of Finnish side FC Haka, in the competition which brings together unemployed pros from four nations.
The ex-Bohs and Shamrock Rovers full-back is keen to take a break from Ireland and is open to talking to clubs in Scandinavia, although he will also explore options in America and Australia.
But the 26-year-old is looking to the future and is doing a sports therapy course with the Institute of Glasgow which involves distance learning and occasional weekend trips to Scotland for modules.
The Irish team have travelled to Norway without a physio, so when Mark Griffin and Peter Higgins suffered injuries yesterday, Powell joked that his services might be required until the local option on standby finally appeared.
"I still, hopefully, have a few years left, but I have to think ahead to the bigger picture," says Powell with regard to his career diversion.
The Dubliner has just returned from 10 days in Tenerife with his girlfriend and her family and used to time to train in preparation for this week, with the PFAI hierarchy noting his condition and his determination to seize this chance.
"I'm looking to do something abroad and if it's not here, then somewhere else," said Powell. "A lot of people have done it, the likes of Steven Gray (Australia) and Brian Shelley (now New Zealand) and they've had great experiences. I've had a chat with them and they've said I won't regret it if I try it, even if's only for a year.
"I've spoken to clubs at home, but I'd like to try something else. The League of Ireland has stood still, the good times have passed by. A different experience would be good at this time."