Drogheda United FC

Interview Conducted by Paul Holland for DUFC v Bohemians Match Programme - 6th May 2011

Drogheda United talks to Brian Gannon

Captain Brian Gannon played for Ireland at U-15, U-16 & U-17 levels. He was the first player to be signed by Liam Buckley when Sporting Fingal were formed. As a schoolboy he started out with the local Sheriff YC in the inner city. In the league Brian played with Bohemians, UCD, Monaghan and Sporting Fingal.

Have you had any well known customers as a taxi-driver?
Ian Rush (ex-Liverpool) would be the most well known. I had to pick him up at the Skylon Hotel and bring him to the airport. He even managed to leave me a tip of e20!!

As a taxi-driver you have to juggle the work and the football
I’m able to work flexi-time so that I don’t have to work on match days. It’s a very competitive business nowadays and can be mentally draining at times. I keep away from the Taxi-Ranks as us younger drivers can be intimidated by the older lads!

I believe your girlfriend is expecting your first child around now?
That’s right, the due date is the 15th May. Myself and Elaine are getting married in November this year.

Does Elaine follow the football at all?
No, not really, but at least she understands the offside rule! She picked it up at a family gathering in the local chipper last week! The salt and vinegar on the table made all the difference!

How did it happen that you moved from Sheriff YC in the inner city to Lourdes Celtic in Crumlin?
To be honest my parents wanted me to get away from the inner city and the crime in the area. I used to head over to Crumlin three times a week on the back of my Dad’s Honda 50!

You’re a great example to the young people in the inner city. Summerhill and the surrounding areas of Sean McDermott St./Sheriff St. would have been amongst the roughest areas of Dublin.
When I was with Fingal I used to give talks in schools on how to stick with sport and steer clear of drugs. There are still an awful lot of good people in these areas that make a massive difference in the community.

What kind of players did you play alongside when you played for Ireland’s U-17s under Brian Kerr?
Players like Stephen Bradley, Killian Brennan and Stephen Rice.

You must have got some slagging when you were with Sporting Fingal, having the same surname as the owner, Gerry Gannon!
Yeah, all the lads used to slag me that the only reason I was in the team was because my “father” had picked me!

Shaun Williams (ex-Drogheda) made great progress at Fingal, winning the Players’ Young Player of the Year award last year and recently signing for MK Dons in League 1.
Shauny has made fantastic progress alright. I’ve never seen a player improve so much in such a short space of time.

How do you feel about being captain this year?
It’s a tremendous honour as I never captained any team before now. I try to get the balance right in encouraging as much as I can but it can be hard to get that “happy medium”.

It’s been incredibly difficult for Mick Cooke to come in a week before our first game of the season and manage a squad that Bobby Browne had signed on a budget for the First Division. Even if we don’t have money, the fans are hoping that he can sign his own players in the Transfer Window in July.
We are hoping to bring in a few experienced players as so many of our squad are really young. A lot depends on whether players are signed on amateur or professional forms. Any amateur player can sign with us in July whereas a professional’s contract could be until the end of the season.

Against UCD on Monday we played really well in the first half and fully deserved the lead at half-time, only to concede in the 88th minute.
Yeah, we were really disappointed that they scored a late winner but we can take an awful lot of positives from the game and luckily enough we still stay in touch with Galway as they were beaten 5-2 by St.Pat’s.

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