Vivomed – Roars from the Stores 26/03/2018

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Vivomed – Roars from the Stores

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Trevor Carson reflects on his debut.

With Trevor Carson earning his first International Cap at the age of 30, this week’s post is a tribute to all the mums, dads, grannies, grandas, brothers and sisters just encouraging and loving their families, and helping them achieve their dreams. Trevor and his brother Karl reminisce on the journey to success.

N.I International Trevor Carson
N.I International Trevor Carson (Source: Charles McQuillan/ Getty Images Europe)


Trevor Carson became Northern Ireland’s oldest player to earn his first international cap at the weekend (aged 30 years and 19 days), a very proud day for our whole family as we all went to see him make his International debut. It feels like a long time coming and I’m just thinking of the 16 years he lived on our shores and how much it helped him become the player he is today! Obviously, a good mentor and hero is our Granda, who himself was a Northern Ireland B international. Granda Ken would take Trev everywhere and anywhere to play football and often coached him from behind his goalposts in the early days!

“Coming from a close-knit community like Killyleagh helped. Coming from a big family of 7 kids, we were spoilt in terms of love from our mum but when it came to money times were hard. There were times local businesses would sponsor me boots and gloves to head off on trial, and many times I was going around doors with my sponsor sheet to try and get enough money to head off to places like milk cup. Things like that you don’t forget. And having someone like my Granda pushing me and supporting me was so important. He is my biggest critic, but at the same time my biggest supporter. He gets the balance just right. I will forever be in debt to him for everything he has sacrificed for me over the years and hopefully days like Saturday can help repay a little bit of that”

I have very few memories of Trev that don’t involve football! He grew up talking about Man Utd in his sleep and jumping out of bed, shaking the bunk beds screaming “push out!!” He was obsessed! He played football anywhere, anytime and with anyone!

The first taste of football for Trev was probably Killyleagh Summer League, it would be fun for everyone, but Trev was always a little “over competitive” should we say!?

“I just hate losing!! At anything. I guess it’s a good trait to have when you’re in such a results-based business as football, but when it comes to playing bingo with my daughter it shouldn’t carry the same importance.”

He quickly moved into the more competitive Downpatrick Youth League with Killyleagh Boys, playing his first cup final aged 6 and saving a penalty if I remember rightly! He would play for Killyleagh YC boys under 12s on a Saturday and under 10s on a Sunday for what seemed like years!!! He played 2 cup finals in the same day once and I remember him winning the first cup and while everyone was celebrating he was walking on to another pitch to start another cup final!

“I have fond memories of my early days at Killyleagh. I love finding old pictures or reading old newspaper cuttings about my days in the Downpatrick Youth League and getting little flashbacks in your head. Paul ‘chicken’ Sharvin was my u10s manager and I still keep in regular contact with him to this day. I played for ‘chicken’ on a Sunday with the u10’s but also played for Ronnie Cromie and my Granda’s u12s on a Saturday morning. They were brilliant times. Obviously there came a point when I got scouted by Joe Kincaid and decided to join St Andrews boys club. We used to hammer teams about 15 nil every week and I didn’t get much to do; but the training that Joe was getting me helped me massively”

His next step was to leave his friends and move on to St. Andrews in the South Belfast Youth League. They were a fantastic team with fantastic players, many of whom still play Danske Bank Premiership today!

They would often win comfortably leaving Trev as a spectator; I guess that helped with his concentration! By age 12 Trev would be training two nights with St. Andrews and going to academy training through Man Utd and Rangers in Belfast, not to mention playing at home with friends and school! A big day for Trev was getting picked to represent Co Down at the Milk Cup, I remember everyone being very proud of him and I believe he was proud of himself! The Milk Cup in Northern Ireland is a fantastic tournament and has an extra buzz around when teams from England to South America come to our shores. Trev was buzzing after that tournament and wanted to be back there every year!

I can remember what I believe to be his first game for Northern Ireland u16s v Republic of Ireland in Belfast, the whole family went to see him, and he saved a penalty from a young Anthony Stokes whom everyone was talking about as he had just signed for Arsenal. Trev has been involved with Northern Ireland from his early teenage years, playing for every age group of the school boys through to B international level and even part of the full international squads many times before Saturday 24th March, but I believe it was worth the wait and hope we don’t have to wait much longer to see it happen again!

Obviously, Trevor has learnt a lot from coaches in England and Scotland over the past 15 years, but there are many men and women from “our wee country” that have made a lasting effect on him as a professional footballer I’m sure, from his coaches at grassroots football right up to the very best at Northern Ireland now! The teachers and friends who have supported him all the way through and of course his family that will support him no matter what happens in his career and life!

 “It hasn’t been all smooth sailing. A lot of dark days over the years. Lowest point being relegation from league 2 with Cheltenham. I was 5 hours from my daughter. I had another year left on my contract and was so close just to packing it in, but I just kept working hard and believing that something would happen and luckily Hartlepool signed me, which really was a turning point for me. I was back up to the North East beside my daughter, enjoying my football again and that showed on the pitch. After 2 years at Hartlepool I had another major decision to make. Stay at Hartlepool in my comfort zone, on decent money, beside my daughter, but playing national league football, or go to Motherwell in the SPL. It’s scary to think how close I was to staying at Hartlepool but coming to Motherwell has been the most important and best decision I have made in my career. It’s given me the opportunity to play in games that I could only have dreamed of playing in when I was a young lad, and helped me fulfil the ultimate dream of playing for the GAWA”.

Roars from the Stores




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