Stratford Town goalkeeper Liam O'Brien wants to repay the faith chairman Jed McCrory has shown in him
FROM nearly giving up playing football altogether, goalkeeper Liam O’Brien is now eager to get going at Stratford Town and repay the faith chairman Jed McCrory has shown in him.
The 29-year-old former Coventry City shot-stopper was on the verge of hanging up the gloves after an injury-plagued 2020 at National League side Yeovil Town had an impact on his mental health.
However, after being invited down to the Arden Garages Stadium by McCrory in November last year, Rugby-based O’Brien got the love for football back.
Although the 2020-21 campaign was curtailed due to Covid-19, O’Brien is looking forward to making his long-awaited debut for the Bards ahead of the forthcoming Southern Premier Central campaign, which is expected to start on 14th August.
“Before joining Stratford Town I nearly gave up football completely,” O’Brien told the Herald.
“When I was at Yeovil I pulled the quad off my bone and it required an operation. I had the operation and it took around four-and-a-half months to get back fit. I started training again, played two games and then got the same injury again.
“So I needed another operation and then another four-and-a-half months to get back fit.
“By that time Covid-19 hit, I was out of contract and ready to give it all up. From going from almost retiring to getting the love for football back, I cannot wait to get going.
“That phone call from Jed gave me a massive lift and playing for Stratford Town is something I’m really looking forward to. Even if I had offers from elsewhere, the answer is no because I want to repay the faith Jed has shown in me.”
Speaking to O’Brien you can tell that he’s in a happier place and the former Portsmouth goalkeeper added he cannot wait to prove his doubters wrong.
“After I left Yeovil my agent had been speaking to a number of clubs, but they were saying I was going to get injured again and that I was injury prone,” he said.
“The first operation didn’t quite fix the problem, but the second one did and I wanted to prove I wasn’t injured. It was all a bit much for me.
“Now that I am at Stratford I want to prove my doubters wrong. I want to prove that I’ve still got what it takes. Two years ago I was playing League One football for Coventry City, so I just want to prove I can have a good season and I believe I can do that at Stratford.”
When asked about what the Bards can achieve this season, O’Brien said: “First place. I can’t see any reason why we can’t win the league. When that first game comes we need to get three points.
“Then it’s about taking each game as it comes and don’t look at the bigger picture. If we do that, I think we’ll be up there come the end of the season.”