Kirk Embrace Opportunity Presented by Bit O’Red Chawl

Paddy Kirk faced a rough season in 2021 as his side Longford Town were relegated from the SSE Airtricity Premier Division, but the Dubliner believes he has gained valuable experience that will help him in the 2022 season at Sligo Rovers. can help.

That club’s pre-season schedule got underway last Wednesday as teams gathered at The Showgrounds to begin preparations ahead of the new season starting in February.

Kirk reconnected with his teammates for the first time last week, and it’s so good so far.

“It has been great. It is quite different for me in terms of full-time schedule and morning training, but even within a few sessions I got used to it,” he told The Sligo Champion Told.

“It has been really good in terms of standards and professionalism. It has been off to a great start.

“There wasn’t much football in the first few days, but at this stage it’s to be expected anyway.”

Kirk arrives at Sligo Rovers after a year with Longford Town, spending three years with Bohemians before heading to the Midlands.

Playing football full-time is new territory for Kirk, and in order to run his own business, he’ll need to make some adjustments.

But full-time football was always his dream, and the chance to get into Sligo and line out for Sligo Rovers was a huge opportunity.

The 23-year-old runs the men’s fashion Instagram page ‘Dubstreetwear’ which currently has around 14,000 followers.

However, it won’t get in the way of his football.

“I’m going to try and keep at it as much as I can. Obviously with full-time football there’s a lot more time to work in the evenings, which I never really had because I had a schedule where I Worked in the morning and afternoon and went straight to training in the evening. And then I’m coming home and it’s late and I’m just going to bed.

“I should try to work out a schedule that suits me best.”

In terms of Sligo’s allure, Liam Buckley did a great job of selling the club and the city to Kirk, who was sold on the move after meeting Buckley.

“I really wanted to play Premier Division football and obviously it’s difficult in Ireland because you don’t really know who’s going to ring you up until the off-season.

“I met Liam Buckley, the conversation was not so much about football, but the opportunities in Sligo, the city and the people and how it is a really football-oriented city. That was a big reason to come to Sligo.

“Of course the opportunity to come and play full time is something I’ve never done and it’s something that grew up and you’ve always wanted to play football, the opportunity to do that is definitely the biggest thing for me to come here.” was the factor.

Another major plus for the 23-year-old was that signing for Bit O’Reid would give him the chance to play in Europe again.

“He was talking when I was talking to people close to me in terms of decision making. The opportunity to play in Europe is huge and it’s something you can look at with great pride and do it with Sligo It would be wonderful to do.”

The exile experience with Longford taught Kirk many lessons, and he believes it will help him seek success with Buckley’s men.

Having become accustomed to being an automatic starter for Dire Doyle’s men in 2021, he will have to fight for the left-back position alongside Robbie McCourt.

He knows he will have a battle on his hands to get that starting spot, but he will do everything possible to ensure that Liam Buckley and his management team have a selection headache on their hands when the season starts.

“My decision to leave Boh and go to Longford was for regular game time and I got it. I think playing 30+ games was priceless.

“They were clearly a tough game in terms of results. I have learned a lot.

“It prepared me to move to a team at the other end of the table, where I can take what I’ve learned from last year and apply it to this team. It was difficult at times.

“I think anyone signing for a club, that’s what they want (to start the game).

“I can only control myself, train properly and prepare for the season game again and give myself the best chance of playing.

“At the end of the day it’s the decision of the manager and the staff, I’ll do everything I can to try and play like everyone else.”

There still needs to be some extras to add, and with Johnny Kenny departing for Celtic, Rovers will need two strikers in the coming weeks for the season.

Nonetheless, Kirk has been impressed with the team so far.

“I think it’s a strong side so far from what I’ve seen in training. Even over the last year, a good core group of boys is holding onto.

“I think there’s no reason why we can’t be exactly where we were last year and carry on again. Even the other lads brought in are all strong joints.

“I think we’d be crazy not to look in that direction again and try and improve last year.”

Living with midfielder and fellow Dubliner Adam McDonnell, Kirk is settling in well to life in Sligo, the first time he is living away from Dublin.

“It’s been great so far. I know there’s not much open in the city within minutes, but walking around, even though I’m in my gear, you get a lot of people saying ‘hi’ or ‘come on the rovers’ .

“That’s the kind of thing you don’t get in Dublin no matter how big it is and even with the GAA.

“It’s a good part of it. It feels like a great city and the people are great. I would settle down very well.”

The important question is, has Kirk managed to bring his piano with him?

The man of many talents went viral on Twitter in 2020 after he uploaded a video of him playing the piano, even making it to 6.1 news.

“I plan to bring it, I haven’t brought it yet because I was not sure in terms of space.

“I’ve made up an idea in my head about where I’m going to put it so that’s the next thing I do.”