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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 26 January 2021

Brendan Quigley - 'There's no point being on a county panel and drawing social welfare'

New York’s captain has no regrets on his decision to leave his native Laois.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

EX-LAOIS PLAYER Brendan Quigley has revealed it was a no-brainer for him to leave Ireland and move to the USA as he prepares to captain New York in Sunday’s Connacht championship tie against Mayo.

Quigley lined out for Laois in last year’s Leinster opener against Louth but made the move across the Atlantic shortly after in search of employment.

A carpenter by trade, the level of work available to Quigley in New York has vindicated his decision.

“At home there’s no point being on a county panel and drawing social welfare. Monday to Friday and no work. It’s no quality of life. I came over here and it was totally based on work.

“You have to go where you can make a living. I’m flying it over here, getting plenty of work and so it wasn’t a tough decision. I suppose it is frustrating that something can’t be done for players.

“Lads are putting in such commitment and lads can’t come up with jobs for them. It’s just the way it is in Ireland, that’s the way the economy is and what do you do, you just have to kind of get on with life.”

Quigley was contacted by Tomás Ó Flatharta when the Kerry native took over as Laois boss and efforts were made to entice him home.

“He gave me a call. I just told him the situation and told him there was no work at home , that I would be staying out here. I had my decision made and I’m sticking with it.”

A subway train passes Gaelic Park, New York Gaelic Park will host Sunday's match between New York and Mayo. Source: Ed Mulholland/INPHO

Moving from one inter-county squad to another, Quigley was unsure of what to expect when joining the New York squad. But he was pleasantly surprised by the setup conducted by manager Ian Galvin.

“To be honest I didn’t know what to expect. Looking at the results over the last few years, I would have thought it wasn’t quite up to the standard at home of the training.

“But there wasn’t much of a change.  The commitment out here by all players is great and training over here has been very professional. We have gym programmes and all the lads train three nights a week. Maybe work commitments do make it that bit tougher.But other than that, it’s pretty much like home.

“I live up in Woodlawn, it’s only about a five minute trip to Gaelic Park with a train, so for myself it’s pretty easy. There are guys down in Queens and Manhattan, there is a bus organised up to training for them – they are collected at a point in Queens and a point in Manhattan so you can get to training pretty easy.”

IMG_0093 copy New Yorkmanager Ian Galvin presenting a signed New York jersey to US Army Football defensive co-ordinator Jay Bateman during a recent trip to West Point, NY.

Quigley, who was speaking this week from the offices of New York’s sponsors Navillus in Midtown Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, is honoured to be captaining the side on Sunday. His parents are flying over from Timahoe for the game. Despite New York’s luckless record in the championship, the 28 year-old is adamant that there is value in their participation.

“We’re hoping this year we can change the trend and put up a good performance against Mayo. There’s talks of getting them out of the Connacht championship. But the way the boys are training, it’d be silly. It’d be terrible to get rid of it.”

Diarmuid O’Connor set for Mayo senior debut as 11 of All-Ireland side to face New York

11 counties represented on New York team to face Mayo next Sunday


About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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