McCarey 'absolutely gutted' by Monaghan collapse

Wolves and Ireland U21 keeper Aaron McCarey admits the Airtricity League needs a “major rethink” following the demise of Monaghan United.

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

IRELAND U21 GOALKEEPER Aaron McCarey was left “absolutely gutted” yesterday as financial pressure forced Monaghan United to withdraw from the Airtricity League.

The news stunned the Wolverhampton Wanderers youth who first joined Mons at the age of eight and learned his trade in the schoolboy ranks before breaking into the first team at 17.

His performances under manager Mick Cooke quickly caught the eye of another Mick, Wolves boss McCarthy, who whisked him cross-channel in late 2009.

Now 19, McCarey is confident that he can break into the Molineux set-up and become the Airtricity League’s next big export — but he hasn’t forgotten his roots.

“There was a great structure and there were very good people involved in the club,” he told on Tuesday. “It’s very sad to see them go but it just goes to show that this league’s not sustainable. There’s going to have to be a major rethink.”

But McCarey welcomed the promise of a “new beginning” from club chairman Jim McGlone who said that Monaghan would now concentrate their time and resources on youth development in the county.

“It would be such an awful pity to see them go completely. The facilities that Monaghan have are second to none. If they start again from underage and work their way up again, it will be a lot more beneficial. It costs a lot of money to be in the Airtricity League and you don’t really get a lot back.”

I know Jim McGlone very well. He’s a very honest man and he works his socks off. I spoke to him last week and he said that there was a time he used to enjoy running the club and now it’s just becoming too much of a challenge. He’s been involved in Monaghan United since they were founded and he’s never got a penny for his work.

It’s all his own time and that goes for everyone out there, but at the end of the day, the funds weren’t there.

Monaghan’s demise comes as Irish supporters are praised as “the best fans in the world” for their vocal support of the national team during a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign.

Much has been made of the disparity between the large numbers in Poland and the comparatively low attendances at Airtricity League grounds on a weekly basis, and McCarey concedes that support is unlikely to filter down to the domestic game.

“To be fair to the fans who are in Poland, a lot of them are there on a holiday as well. It just happens to be that Ireland are in the tournament and that’s why they went. If Ireland were playing in the Aviva on a wet Wednesday night, I don’t know if they’d all be there.”

The whole league needs to be looked it. Every year, clubs aren’t fit to keep going so I think the powers that be need to sit down and think about what way they need to go forward.

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McCarey returns to the Midlands for pre-season training on 4 July where he’ll have a new manager to impress in Stale Solbakken, who took over after Terry Connor’s interim stint at the helm ended in relegation to the Championship.

With three keepers ahead of him in the pecking order, the best way to catch Solbakken’s eye will be on loan at another club, he says.

“I’ll have to get a lucky break along the way. I’m hoping for a loan move next year to give me the chance to put my foot on the platform and show really what I can do. Hopefully that gets noticed and that’s all I can do. There are three very good keepers ahead of me at Wolves.

I just want to play regular football, whether that’s League One or League Two, I’m happy to go anywhere. We’ll see what happens after pre-season, hopefully something’s in the pipeline.

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Niall Kelly

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