Meyler salutes parents for instilling ‘books before boots’ philosophy

Republic of Ireland international midfielder David Meyler has revealed his career could have taken a different path but for his parents.

Meyler, 23, was offered a trial by Nottingham Forest at 16 but his parents wanted him to continue his education and so he stayed with Cork City.

The move paid off as Meyler was picked up by Sunderland three years later and while injuries restricted his impact at the Stadium of Light, he is now playing a key role in Hull’s promotion bid.

“My parents weren’t too pushed on me going to Nottingham Forest,” he revealed.

“They were more interested in my education. I’d go to school every morning from 8.40am and 10am, then I’d go train with Cork City from 10.30am until 1pm, then back to school until 6pm.

“I used to do that three or four times a week. My Dad reckons that if I’d have gone to England at 16 I would have been one of those players that came back a few years later.

“I wasn’t mature. I was a young idiot, more or less. I was too hyper. But I grew up fairly lively when I was 18 and 19 and I went to Sunderland.”

Meyler’s father, John, continues to be a huge influence on his career and he added: “After every day at school he would have me outside practicing. If I wanted to be the best, I had to practice.

“That stuff rubs off and you set high standards for yourself. He’s been a fantastic help and a great driving force.

“He rings me before I go to bed and says ‘Maybe you could do this or that better, I like what you did there’.

“He’s not only a father, he’s a close friend. He’s a teacher and I’ve grown up to be like him. No matter where the game is on I’ll leave one ticket for him and I know he’ll be there.”

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