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Eoin Maguire: The Problems and the Prodigy

Welcome to this extremely unique story, where I go through my life, up and downs,and based on real events in my life, and fiction, a good mix of both, to becoming a Football Manager, and once that happens, lead the club that gave me a chance to glory
Started on 9 June 2019 by BigMaguire / First Post
Latest Reply on 20 June 2019 by BigMaguire / Last Post
BigMaguire's avatar Group BigMaguire
1 weekEdited

My one heart was now glued to Manchester United.


I was 4 years old, about to turn 5. It was a sunny day in May 2003, with beams of sunshine glistening across my native country, Ireland, and where I was living, Limerick. Manchester United were playing on TV, and I was curious, and my big imagination was intrigued by what I saw. I watched some of the game and was in awe with what I was seeing as young child. I started to like this new sport I had discovered, football. It was fast paced, action packed, dramatic, suspenseful, just like my personality as a young child, as I was constantly full of energy, and would never stop.

The game ended and I was so happy, as I saw a fellow Irishman Roy Keane lift the Premier League trophy as captain. I picked up a piece of white paper and started drawing, just letting my expansive young imagination flow on the canvas that was the paper. I drew a picture of the Premier League trophy and a red shirt, with Roy Keanes name and number on it, and I felt so belonging for the first time in my young life. I could imagine myself playing for Manchester United, and my little glittering different coloured eyes were filled with so much ecstasy as for the first time in my life, I had a dream. I wanted to be a professional football player, and my little mind got hooked instantly to football, and Manchester United became a religion for me.

From that one sunny day in May 2003, I had kindled my future dreams, and felt this sense of excitement and happiness I had never endured before, and a sense of identity. It was a truly crucial day in my childhood, and one I wouldn't ever forget. Manchester United were now my genre in life, my source of happiness, my hand down of joy, my bread and butter. And this is where my footballing adventures all began.
Imagine United being the "genre of your life," utterly tragic. Poor child needs to be warned of the future yet to come.

Best of luck. Let's hope this lasts! ;)
You poor, poor child having to look at United these days.
2019-06-09 12:18#257318 ScottT : Imagine United being the "genre of your life," utterly tragic. Poor child needs to be warned of the future yet to come.

Best of luck. Let's hope this lasts! ;)
Thanks man, it is tragic atm tbf lol. And this one will last until FM20, I give you my word
2019-06-09 12:21#257319 Jack : You poor, poor child having to look at United these days.
I know...…. its sad haha
BigMaguire's avatar Group BigMaguire
1 weekEdited

My mindset as a child, and still to this day.

After seeing my new idols being crowned Premier League title winners in May 2003, I was so motivated to go and pursue my dream, of becoming a professional football player.

My earliest memory I can recall playing football was when I played in a little 5-a-side game for my local club Lisnagry, who wore Claret and Blue, similar colours to Aston Villla and Burnley. The 5-a-side type game took place on a small astroturf pitch in Castletroy College, a secondary school located very close to home, and the school where I would end up attending for 6, long years.

I remember there was no touchline, only a cage plastered over with wooden pallets to ping the ball off, as we were playing on the astroturf from left to right, not up and down, as it was too large for our frail little bodies just quite yet. I used the springboard of the wall to my advantage quite a bit, and I got very involved within the action, making up lots of ground and never stopping to take a breath, as my energy was almost endless at the ripe age of 5. I remember scoring a couple of goals and feeling a sense of joy and bewilderment any child could only dream of, as I, in my mind, was on my way to success, I was going to make it, I was going to do this and going to do that, but it didn't quite work out like that.

18 year old Ronaldo, my childhood god.

I remember very well the first game I had seen the legend play, it was against Wolverhampton Wanderers in late 2003, at the start of the 2003/2004 season. He had recently moved from Sporting Lisbon and was really a football unknown at the time, but that didn't last long did it!

I was mesmerised, almost in an hypnotic state when I watched him play in that game. He was fast, hard working, and had skills that just absolutely blew my young mind. I was in complete awe, my saliva probably hitting the floor as my mouth was open so wide, for so long. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and it changed my world forever. The impact he had on me was just so deep into my little soul. He represented everything I wanted to become, as being a very talented, skillful footballer from a young age, he was my hero, and if he didn't play, that whole day was then my kryptonite. He was only 18 at the time, but to me he felt like my second father. I worshipped him, talked about him, and I sculpted my game off of him.

I used the same skills as he did in games in my games. I learned the step over, I learned the Ronaldo Chop, I learned how to shoot with the laces, how to score free kicks and beat the wall, how to beat my man by knocking the ball past him. All of my attributes in my game, were learned off my Portuguese teacher. And he really improved my game from an early age. And it led to me being a very decent young footballer. And this helped me in other areas of my life too.
BigMaguire's avatar Group BigMaguire
1 weekEdited


I was around the age of 10 and I was still playing for my local club Lisnagry, and we were fighting for promotion into the 2nd Division of the Schoolboys League of the Limerick Football Pyramid. I was constantly practicing, spending hours upon hours trying to master my craft, and was so passionate about it, I would sometimes play against myself!. I would put on a football jersey, usually an international one, and I would run outside to my big back garden, and sing my made up national anthem of the respective nations jersey I would wear.

I practiced so much and spent so much time doing it, I became very technically gifted, as I always loved practicing free-kicks and trying to do step overs, Ronaldo Chops, as many keepy uppies as I could muster, and always practiced my finishing in my little goalnet that I had, and I always had a tan!. It was this practice and passion for the Beautiful Game that made me a step ahead of my teammates and opposition players, as I always had a trick up my sleeve, and a very high footballing IQ from watching so much football and practicing like a monk doing meditation, so all the time basically!

I had cemented my place as a dynamic right sided winger, and always started every game, no matter what the circumstances, even if I was injured I wouldn't care, I just wanted to play, and I became our teams key player in attack. I would never look backwards for a pass, always forward, and would always try to surprise my opponent with a change of pace or cheeky nutmeg or change of direction, as back then, I was as agile as a cheetah. and had very good stamina, always lasting longer than the rest of my teammates. I would take corners and set-pieces and would always put a swerve on the ball, as to make it as hard as possible for my opposing defenders to get to it.

In the end, I was instrumental to our success, winning a lot of games along the way, which eventually led to our promotion! We did it! But I wasn't the only good player, we had a good few, we were a good team, and worked together very well, as most of us went to school together.

And during this period my coaches started to notice my talent, and named me as captain in many games!, an honour in honesty I didn't like at times as it added pressure, but I liked the fact that they thought that highly of myself. And that's where it got serious. I started to become a little sensation on that wing, and all my teammates and friends in school knew me as " the kid who is the best at football". It was a name that came back to haunt me though in coming years, as my image and interests changed dramatically.
Those last few words sound ominous. Good work so far!

The exact position of my goal, and how I invisioned myself at the time, just like my idol.
It was an overcast day, I was about 13 and we were playing rivals Aisling Annacotty in a league game. The pitch was perfect that day, with the grass being so smooth and dry, being perfect for my specialty, set-pieces.
I had had many set pieces and not scored any( decides penalties) and I was so determined to stop this rut.

We won a free-kick on the left hand side of the pitch, about 30-35 meters out, a perfect angle for a right footed taker like myself. My teammates immediately looked over to me and I stepped up, and oh boy did I deliver!. I eyed up the tall goalkeeper who was standing on the right hand side of the goal, but it didn't matter the most minute bit, because this ball was going into that corner, and into the top of it. I struck the ball so sweetly and put a crazy amount of swerve on it, and it went straight over the wall, and was heading for the top corner. As it was my eyes lit up like a lava lamp as I knew my shot was heading where I wanted it too. The keeper panicked and just stood still and the ball ultimately was too high for him anyway, so even as he jumped, it didn't matter, as the ball hit the back of the net, from around 40 yards out.

My teammates went absolutely crazy and so did I, and my coaches and my father on the side line had their hands on their heads, as I just pulled off the impossible. Even my opponents applauded my effort and one of them came over to me and said" what a goal man jesus". I was overjoyed and that was the single best moment in my youth football career, and I will never forget it!
2019-06-09 13:57#257327 ScottT : Those last few words sound ominous. Good work so far!
And they are! To come in this chapter
BigMaguire's avatar Group BigMaguire
1 weekEdited

Aisling Annacottys real badge.
Over the next few years, I started to decline as a footballer and was no longer the player I once was. My teammates got bigger and stronger, and I didn't. They got faster, I got slower. They improved, I declined. My confidence was constantly being shattered and when I got my dream move to rivals Aisling Annacotty, with the A team being a possibility, they rejected me. To this day I don't know why, but my chance to make it as a footballer I thought had ended, so I joined my closest friends to treat soccer as a hobby, and not as a dream, playing now for the Aisling Annacotty C team.

We were a terrible team, and I was way out of my depth, I had little to no quality around me, so I often had to try do things myself, which led to the mental side of my game declining, and with us losing games 13-0, 9-1 etc, my in game confidence would never return, and I gave up my dream to become a professional football player, or at least play at a high level.

But it wasn't all bad. With my closest friends all around me and always joking and messing, it was just all good banter at the end of the day, and despite my dream ending there, I look back fondly at those days, as without pressure and expectation, it was just all a bit of fun, and that's what life is all about, isn't it? Unfortunately though, I had many problems mentally deep within in me, and it took a long time to recover from certain events in my life and a diagnosis that changed my life forever...
The realisation of yourself in stagnation/decline is always a sobering experience for anyone who had enjoyed being excellent in their area beforehand. I wonder if this has any impact on this diagnosis...
2019-06-09 14:30#257332 Jack : The realisation of yourself in stagnation/decline is always a sobering experience for anyone who had enjoyed being excellent in their area beforehand. I wonder if this has any impact on this diagnosis...
Exactly Jack, and this is all based on my real life experiences, and it was sobering so much to point I realised that this dream i had was gone, so i just played for fun. But where do the problems start? Stay tuned!

Describes young me in a nutshell.


I was a very sensitive, there was always something a little different about me to the other kids. I was more empathetic, had a very high moral compass and I had a stammer and always blinked very frequently and it got worse if I was stressed. I also suffered from more anxiety than the average child and this bullying I experienced didn't help it, at all.

There was this boy( not going to name him as im not a name dropping sort of guy) in my year who would always kick me when I was down. He saw me as a soft target and used that to his advantage. He would call me so many names, too many to name, and would always make fun of me no matter the situation, and what he wanted was a reaction, and he got that, as I always tried to stand up for myself. One day I poured water over his head, another I roundhouse kicked him into the stomach, others I would get into arguments with him. It went on and on for years, and it really scarred me for a long time. I was more self conscious, as he would always comment on how I looked "ugly" and I then thought that too. I got more anxiety problems, and started to overthink things, some thoughts or ideas would get stuck in my head, and wouldn't leave etc. It was bad for a long time, but eventually my friends I had in Primary School stood up for me, as I wasn't the only one he picked on, and it ended there and then.

I grew mentally very vulnerable after this experience but it was a wake up call for me. Maybe I should have done more to stop it, maybe I should I have ignored him more, but I was only a kid, and with my brain not fully developed I didn't understand what to do. It was tough, but it ended and I am thankful I did have good friends in Primary School who helped me through it, but these same friends were the same friends who would come back to haunt me, and leave me more heartbroken than ever......

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