Kevin Feely has no regrets about turning his back on a professional soccer career in England for a shot at GAA glory with Athy and Kildare.
The highly-rated midfielder signed for Charlton Athletic from Bohemians in 2012 before being loaned out to Carlisle United and AFC Wimbledon. He then signed for Newport County, but decided to return home in 2015.
"It was never really something that I was overly enjoying. I never had any huge ambitions to do good things in soccer, whereas I would have always looked at Gaelic as something I could achieve things in with Athy and Kildare and that was definitely the main reason behind coming home," he explained to the Irish Examiner ahead of tomorrow's Leinster SFC final against Dublin.
Feely revealed that he would have returned to Athy sooner if it wasn't for the fact that he was being paid to play soccer.
"Probably the money side of things was why I wasn't home a year or two earlier. I remember thinking I'd love to come home. The summer before I did come home I was thinking I'd love to (return) but I actually can't afford to.
"The following year and a half that I spent in England was purely for financial reasons. I was doing it to be able to save enough money so that I could come home and finish my college course (athletic therapy, DCU).
"I understand that that's the completely wrong reason to be playing any sport. I felt at the same time that it had to be done for my own happiness, to be able to come home. It is hard leaving that behind, knowing that there could be a fairly secure living in this for you for a few years.
"But you can't really put a price on your personal happiness and from talking to my parents and friends I knew that the right decision was to come home."