O’Callaghan eager to get back to action

Richard O’Callaghan is relieved that there are signs of life getting back to normal after the period of extended lockdown.

The Fermanagh midfielder has said that the break away from football reminded him that his time playing for club and county is precious.

I am turning 30 next year. I am glad to get a couple of years in before I retire. I’m keen to get back. I missed a couple of years as I was in Australia. I missed that Ulster final (in 2010). So I am glad to get back.”

There was a threat that there would be no season at all, and for O’Callaghan that would mean another period of wasted time. So he is delighted that a return to action is nearing.

It’s come out of nowhere. There was a lot of chat about nothing happening this year. It was welcome news. They seem to have followed good guidance.

There is a bit of purpose now. I missed going down for a kick-about for training. Having the ability to go and meet your mates on the pitch is massive. It is a release for people.”

Interestingly, O’Callaghan said that the county set-up went quiet during the early periods of lockdown.

Ryan (McMenamin) said to us that that would be it, and they would be in touch about what the plan would be

There has been a few boys doing challenges like 5ks, burpees, bin challenges on Whatsapp. That’s been the height of it. It’s great to have it.

I reached out to the S&C coach in Fermanagh. He gave me that extra support and that was good.”

At club level, O’Callaghan said that Enniskillen Gaels have been chatting about what their plan is going forward.

A few boys have been meeting up to do runs to try to get in shape,” O’Callaghan said.

In terms of county, we know something will happen after the club is over. We don’t really know what is going to fit in where. I am sure the GAA will give us guidance.”

But it is not only the return to football that has pleased O’Callaghan. He’s grateful that work is settling down as well. He is working in Quinn Cement and had a frustrating period away from the office.

Being out of work was challenging. Not meeting people was hard. For the period of lockdown it was just my wife and her sister.

My parents were shielding so I just left their groceries on the front door, and didn’t really see them.

I have been back (at work) for three weeks. It was challenging being out of the routine. It becomes harder to get back into a different routine.

I got out and did a bit of exercise. My wife is off as well, and we decided to get out every day.”

The midfielder did add that he was aware that just because things are loosening up, does not mean that they are out of the woods just yet.

You run a risk with it. But as long as it is slow and steady and guidelines are followed it should be okay.

If something bad did happen we might have to regress plans. That’s not spoken about as much.

I think the GAA led the way at the start and closed things down quickly. I am sure they would do the same if there was a spike.”

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