SOMETIMES success can be measured in more than just trophies and that’s a philosophy to which Declan Considine can testify.
He has recently become the FAI Development Officer for Limerick, having just left his position as manager of Pike Rovers.
He has a trophy-laden CV from his six years with the Hoops, including the FAI Junior Cup in 2011, but he takes even greater pleasure in seeing the progression of the club’s younger players.
Declan says: “The FAI [Junior Cup] was fantastic but I think the biggest plus of all in my six years with Pike was the progress the schoolboys have made.
“We have lots of children from Moyross, Southill and St Mary’s Park and look at the progress we have made. We have won the under 13 cup, the under 12 league, the under 11 league and the under 10 league.
“That started with four children. We went door to door handing out leaflets and our first turnout was four. It was tough, it was hard graft but to see them there today, and the personalities that they have, it is probably the biggest thing I’ve done at the club.”
Declan was noted for his time at Pike Rovers not just as a successful manager, but for the vast amount of community-based work he carried out.
That philanthropic attitude will serve him well in his new role with the FAI, with a job spec that involves considerable work with children of all backgrounds and abilities.
“Most of the stuff I’m doing now with the FAI, I’ve done at club level, such as social inclusion, keeping children off the streets and trying to put them into a healthy environment. Most important of all is to get them to make healthy lifestyle choices.
“I am planning to open a few drop-in centres for children that are finishing school so that they go straight into a football environment. I’m used to trying to put children in the right direction. It’s not always going to work but that’s my job, to teach them the difference between wrong and right, and I can do that through sport.
“If soccer is taken away from them, they don’t really have anything else to turn to, and they look forward to playing soccer, interacting with others and meeting new friends.
“Also I think education very much has a part to play in keeping them in school and using football as a carrot to stay in school, and that’s very important.”
Declan has been involved in soccer since he was six years old and he is an extremely well regarded figure among followers of the sport in Limerick.
Speaking about his new role as FAI Development Officer for the county, he is absolutely certain that it is the ideal job for him.
“When the position came up I had no doubt that it 100% suited me. I worked in other areas but football is my life and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity of giving it a go.
“It’s not a 9 to 5, clock in and clock out job. You can forget about 9 to 5. It just doesn’t work that way. I knew going for this position that it was seven days a week. I have an understanding family and they know I could be needed at 9 or 10 o’clock at night, or the following morning at 8 o’clock.
“I’m used to doing those kind of hours but ask me to go back and do the previous jobs I was doing and no way. I love what I’m doing now.”