BACK IN THE GAME

Travers re­turns to the GAA as AGB man­ager

Bray People - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE Sports Ed­i­tor

HE WAS for a time one of the most eas­ily recog­nis­able fig­ures on the Wicklow Se­nior foot­ball team. He was the guy who could al­ways be heard above the din of the crowd, scream­ing in­struc­tions and en­cour­age­ment to his full back line, protest­ing with the ref­eree, urg­ing on the sup­port­ers. But then dis­as­ter struck. Three years ago Mervyn Travers' foot­ball ca­reer was ended af­ter a hor­rific in­jury dur­ing the game against West­meath in Tul­lam­ore when he rup­tured his patel­lar ten­don and broke his knee cap. And de­spite bat­tling to make a re­turn, the fact that he would only re­turn to 70 per cent of where he had been, added to the level of pain and agony he had to en­dure af­ter train­ing, it was just not to be.

But now he's back in the game. Back play­ing an­other leader's role as he takes over the man­age­ment of his own club, the AGB Se­nior foot­ballers at the ten­der age of 30.

“You have to draw a line at some stage,” said Mervyn when asked about the in­jury. “You have to have a level of en­joy­ment play­ing foot­ball and that was gone for me so a few peo­ple around the club had been men­tion­ing the man­age­ment thing to me and then Ray Men­ton ap­proached me and I out­lined what I was look­ing for in terms of equip­ment and sup­port from the club and they've got be­hind me fully and they made it a very dif­fi­cult job not to take,” he added.

For AGB chair­man Ray Men­ton the ap­point­ment of Mervyn as Se­nior man­ager comes as a huge boost to the club who have never really caught fire at Se­nior level, a flaw that cul­mi­nated in their rel­e­ga­tion to Di­vi­sion 2 of the Se­nior foot­ball league last year.

“We ne­go­ti­ated with Mervyn over the last few weeks and we're de­lighted he's taken on the job. He's one of our own play­ers, he's sort of a lo­cal hero down here with the younger play­ers, both him and Ciaran Hyland, so it's great to have him on board. He's some­one the play­ers can look up to and he has a vast amount of ex­pe­ri­ence as a player,” he added.

For the former Wicklow num­ber one his work starts im­me­di­ately as he puts to­gether his man­age­ment team ahead of the start of the league. And it's in the league that his am­bi­tions be­gin.

“We'll cer­tainly be look­ing for pro­mo­tion from the league,” he said hon­estly. “We've been a very poor cham­pi­onship side at Se­nior so I want to get the lads com­pet­ing in the cham­pi­onship and to max­imise their po­ten­tial. You know, you look at the size of the town here and you see what Bray are do­ing. They went back to the draw­ing board so we're try­ing to em­u­late what they're do­ing,” he added.

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