SOCCER: RORY FEELY INTERVIEW
Feely adapting to the new normal
By Daire Walsh
DESPITE being left idle for an extended spell due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, Rory Feely is keeping himself busy ahead of a potential return to competitive soccer in the coming months.
The versatile defender is currently in the midst of his second stint with St Patrick’s Athletic, having departed Waterford FC following the conclusion of the 2019 Premier Division campaign. He has already clocked up three appearances for the Inchicore men in the current season, which has now been put on hold until June 19 at the very earliest.
“We’ve been given some fitness runs and that from our s&c coaches that we do in isolation. Most people would have some kind of green within the 2km limit, so they’ll be able to go do their runs,” Feely said, speaking from his family home in Athy.
“It’s mostly kind of homework, but we’ve been given stuff that’s altered for the current situation from our coaches.
“All we can do is train on our own as if we were full-time and make sure we’re ready for the provisional date in June for when it comes back. That there is no gaps in our performance as if it was during the season.”
Since completing a physical education and maths degree at DCU last summer, Feely has been able to concentrate fully on his burgeoning career in the League of Ireland.
The former Kildare minor footballer is grateful to have this sole focus for the road ahead, particularly with all that is currently taking place around him.
“With the college finished now, I’m thankfully able to devote my whole self just to the football for the next couple of years. Seeing where I can take it. I now have the education part finished, so I have that to fall back on if needs be.
“My main concentration at the moment is just the football. Thankfully there’s no college work, especially at this time, stressing me out.”
Feely returned to Richmond Park on the back of two highly productive seasons under Alan Reynolds in Waterford. Having garnered the Young Player of the Year at the end of his debut campaign (2018), he was handed the senior gong by the Blues Supporters Club 12 months later.
Though it was difficult for him to wave goodbye to the Deise outfit, the prospect of working with Saints boss Stephen O’Donnell – a six-time league winner during a stellar playing career – was too good to turn down.
“Obviously I really enjoyed my time with Waterford and there was no bad blood or that leaving. It was just this seemed to be the next step for me to progress my career. I had met with Stephen [O’Donnell] a couple of times before moving there and I really enjoyed what he was saying. His ambition kind of matched mine.
“I was happy to sign there and since I’ve gotten there it’s clear we’ve got the ambition, we’ve got the players.
“We were just unlucky with some results at the start, but overall I’m really enjoying it there. We look to have a really good squad and hopefully we can push on when this league gets started again,” he said.