Academy Stars …. Sean Jones-Carey
Name: Sean Jones-Carey
Team: Shamrock Rovers Under 19s
From where: Clondalkin
Are you still in school? No, I finished up this summer and I am going to college in September.
What school were you in? I went to Clonburris in Clondalkin for Primary School and then to Moyle Park Secondary School in Clondalkin.
What do you hope to study in college? Once I get the points, I’m hoping to do Business Management in Maynooth. I already have a football scholarship lined up so once I get the points I have the course.
Where did you start out in football? When I was 8 I signed for Cherry Orchard and I was with them up to when I was 14. I had a great time there winning leagues, winning cups, trips abroad and everything. It was quality. The coaching there I can see helped me a lot when I signed for Rovers. I loved every minute of it there.
When did you join Shamrock Rovers? I joined Rovers when I was 14 for the Under 15 National League. Thomas Morgan and Dessie (Baker) were in charge of the team then.
What do you remember of that year? Everyone worked really hard all year and done great to get to two finals. It was a shame how the finals ended but it was a great year all round.
Did you learn anything from those two finals (against St. Pat’s)? They were different than playing normal league games, there was more pressure and more people watching, just a completely different game I thought. I thought we played well, especially in the second final (Mark Farren Cup); we were just unlucky on penalties. In the first final (League final) we started off poor but then in the second half we thought we had done enough to get back into the game, we were just unlucky.
Can you remember how you felt after the final whistle? It was devastating, all the hard work all season, it was heart-breaking.
Does that experience make you feel more determined now? Yeah, definitely. The next year I just wanted to go back and try my hardest again and win the titles.
But then last year turned out to be very disruptive due to the pandemic. How frustrated were you over that? It was very frustrating; the season was basically wrecked. But then I was at home training every day and I was delighted when football was back. We got to another final but sadly the same happened to us again (as the previous year).
Would you say you were really happy that the season got going properly more or less this year? Yeah, I’m loving football at the moment. I’ve been loving every minute since I came up to the Under 19s. I’m happy that we have a proper season this year and that we are getting a proper run at it. I think we will do well.
How do you view your quick transition from Under 17s to Under 19s? I’m still eligible to play another year at Under 17s but I think it’s better for me and my development to play at Under 19 level.
What was the recent injury you got? I picked up a hamstring injury, I think it happened in the fourth game of the season. I played twenty minutes against St. Pat’s a few weeks back and felt it a bit again so I decided there was no point in risking it even more and doing further damage so I took the last three weeks off. I was with the physio and I am back fit now. I feel 100% recovered.
What’s it been like for you playing in Tallaght Stadium? I love it, the pitch and everything about it makes it the best place I think to play football in Ireland and we are lucky to have the chance to play all of our home games in Tallaght Stadium. It’s just a different class to everywhere else.
Do you notice a difference playing for the 19s as against the 17s? Yeah, it’s a lot more intense and physical. A lot of the players would be two or three years older than me and a lot stronger but I think I have been doing well.
How do you think things are going for the team? We started off very well but then we had a couple of disappointing results but we qualified for the next phase and I think we’re going to kick on now and hopefully keep winning and win the league and the cup double, that’s the goal.
How would you describe yourself as a footballer? I’m very fast and very direct. I like to get on 1 v 1s in the final third, I like to get a cross in the box. I like attacking and defending. I’ve been playing wing-back this season and I like that, especially as I have more space out on the right. I try to go at defenders and get balls into the box every chance I get.
Would you always have been a right full previously? For a season at Cherry Orchard when I first played 11-a-side I played at centre back and then I moved over to right back. That’s when I felt I loved playing on the right side anywhere. I still like playing as a centre half but my main position would be right back/right wing back.
Did you take a sudden stretch or were you always tall? I have always been one of the tallest on my team growing up. I normally would be the tallest but playing U19s now there are a few taller boys than me; it feels strange not being the tallest!
Would you like to say anything else? I’m loving football at the moment. I’m happy with the way Aido, Grayser and Thomas do the training, it’s all been quality since we have come back, I’m just loving it.
*Aidan Price, Stephen Gray and Thomas Morgan are the coaches for the SRFC Under 19s.