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Shamrock Rovers striker to take a break from football after revealing struggle with depression

Mikey Drennan, 22, is taking some time out.

Mikey Drennan
Mikey Drennan
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

MIKEY DRENNAN WILL put his football career on hold after the Shamrock Rovers striker today opened up about a three-year battle with depression.

Drennan made the brave admission via his Facebook page and the SSE Airtricity League club later released a statement which explained that the 22-year-old has been given time off: “Mikey has the full support of all his colleagues and friends at the club; we wish him the very best and hope to see him back soon.”

The Kilkenny native — an Irish U21 international — is in his second season with the Hoops, having returned to Ireland last year after a four-year spell with Aston Villa, during which he had loan spells with Carlisle United and Portsmouth.

The addition of Drennan was a significant coup for Shamrock Rovers and he enjoyed a good first season with the Tallaght outfit, ending 2015 as the club’s top scorer with 12 league goals. Drennan last featured for Rovers in their 2-0 home defeat to champions Dundalk on 22 April.

“I’m taking time out of football because I’m not happy and I’ve been suffering with depression for the last three years,” Drennan wrote on Facebook. “I thought I would have dealt with it better then but it’s come to a point now where I need to leave and take a break.

“I just want to be happy because life is way too short. I need to be around people I love and get a job. I needed something to change. This is a very tough decision, one I’ve put my whole life into and hoped to be successful in, but it’s not one I’ve made over two weeks.

“This has been on my mind a lot over the past few years but I said I would stick it out… It can’t get any worse, but it did, and I haven’t spoken to people about it as much as I should. I wanted to deal with it myself but it was the wrong decision.

“People will always look at me different, saying ‘I’m a failure’ and all that crap, but it’s the reason why I came home in the first place — to play soccer here, to see would it make me better, which obviously it didn’t.

“I just want to come back and get the help I need to get back on track, and would like to go back playing in the League of Ireland at some stage if the chance came up. I want to thank everyone who has given their best to support me and make this difficult decision.”

If you need to talk, contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Console 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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Paul Dollery

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