Connor Brennan is pictured above with (From left to right) Chairman Paul Ritchie, Secretary Jeremy Bell and Vice Chairman John Hamilton.
Back in 2008 Connor Brennan was a fresh faced member of the Junior County Down Dale Farm Milk Cup squad. Now the 20 year old Goalkeeper plays for Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland under 21’s. At the parents evening on Thursday 16th May the man from Crossgar took time off his busy schedule to discuss his memories of the 2008 campaign, his life as a professional footballer and to pass on a word of adivce to this years Dale Farm Milk Cup hopefuls.
‘It was a great week. The highlight of the 2008 Milk Cup was playing Chelsea. They were so strong, quick and technically gifted it was unreal. I learned alot. it was a great experience and motivated me to improve and reach the standard that they set.”
“The thing that suprised and encouraged me about the 2008 experience was how well we coped with the experience. Despite the skills of the professional teams there wasnt that much difference between them and us.”
The well-spoken 20 year old has already packed alot into his short career so far, competing also in the Elite section of the Dale Farm Milk Cup for Northern Ireland. Connor passed on this word of advice to this years hopefuls,
“The important thing when your young is to always be asking questions. If i didnt know something or if I wanted to improve I would just ask one of my coaches. You are given first class coaching so make the best use of it. I love asking questions because that’s how you know your on the right tracks. The other thing is not to be discouraged if your not selected. Coaches have difficult jobs and many players to select from so its not a personal thing if you don’t get in. But find out, in the right way, why you weren’t selected so you can improve. Dont get your head down either, it’s a great opportunity to play in the Milk Cup, but there wil be other chances to be a professional footballer if you want. The important thing is to enjoy it, work hard and make the most of the expert Coaching you’ve been given. I’ve played in England and Scotland and the coaching here is excellent, so dont pass up that opportunity. The experiences at the Milk Cup inspired me to continue to work hard to achieve my dream.”
With an old head on young shoulders the future looks bright for Connor. On top of training sessions and matches Connor has followed in the footsteps of Giggs et tal in taking Yoga and spending afternoons in the gym. The 20 year old Goalkeeper has his sights set on establishing himself at Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland. Connor who currently the understudy to Craig Samson at Kilmarnock is looking forward to the season ahead, ‘we go back at the end of June so its all about maintaining and improving my fitness so I can hit the ground running when I get over there. We get weighed and our body fat is measured before we leave so its all about eating well and staying in shape to give yourself the best possible chance of doing well. Ideally i’d like to get out on loan at some point this season and get some proper match practice in. Buit i’m lucky in that the training at Kilmarnock is so intense that i’ve contined to improve throughout the season.”
For now the 20 year old has another few weeks left at home before he goes back to Kilmarnock for the season, where, fingers crossed we will soon see starring in both the Blue and White stripe of Kilmarnock and the Green of Northern Ireland.