You are young, you’ve bagged a decent job, you’re playing county football but aren’t these all things Adrian Faherty enjoyed when he was first choice between the sticks for Galway?
Standing in the dressing rooms of Ruislip, the sound of city-bound-traffic travelling the A40 on one side, the sprawl of suburbia on the other, Faherty is being pressed for an answer about why the English capital is so special
“What do I love about it?” he pauses. “I’m going to sound like a geek now but obviously I’m into construction. London has a very nice mix of modern and old architecture. Some of the buildings around London are absolutely amazing. It’s very interesting and I love what I do.”
The pace of the interview has changed from sound bites about competing with his home county, Galway, on Sunday, to his day job as a quantity surveyor and how he ended up in London, playing with the Exiles.
He has been here before. Rewind to 2009 and Faherty was on the Galway team that defeated London in these surrounds. Also playing for the Tribesmen that day was Damien Dunleavy, now a key member of the London squad.
And the ‘maroon-on-maroon’ nature of the contests means six Galway players will take to the field for London: Mark Gottsche, Paul Geraghty, brothers Eoin and Cathal O’Neill the additional quartet.
So when Faherty speaks about London being “a home from home”, he really means in a football sense.
Only football didn’t bring him to Britain’s capital.
He talks about going 18 months without work and refers to all the weeks he watched races from the UK when he worked in Galway manager Alan Mulholland’s bookmakers. Now he visits those tracks when he can.
“I liked what I did there as well. When I was growing up, my granddad had loads of horses and I’d have an interest in them. I’m lucky with work that we’d bring clients — or they’d bring us — to Cheltenham. I’m lucky with that when the football doesn’t have first preference.”
During his first year in London, county football wasn’t. He had been approached by manager Paul Coggins but work commitments took precedent and he was happy on the club scene with Neasden Gaels.
“The management asked me to come in in January last year but I decided against it. I was new to a job and was very busy. Obviously I regret that now but fair play to the lads and management, they had a massive year.”
London’s remarkable run last summer provided an almost weekly reminder of what might have been yet Faherty took joy from watching the progress of Geraghty and Dunleavy from the sidelines.
He easily fell into the Exiles’ set-up, however his clique in recent times has not been county-led, more a convention of goalkeepers alongside Declan Traynor from Meath and Evan Byrne from Tipperary.
“Paul is very good at making sure everyone gets to know each other,” he says. “When you’re travelling back for national league games, he’d room new guys up with older lads or lads you might have been playing against with your club. He has his own little tricks and methods. I’m lucky I’m part of the goalkeeping union so we tend to stick together!”
But when not on away trips, he settles in Brentwood in Essex and most mornings of late he’s been heading to work in Knightsbridge, clocking in beside Harrods, five basements below ground level! “It’s a project where we’re putting five basements into it and going up six storeys at the same time. It’s very complex but it’s a really interesting job. The type of job you just wouldn’t get the chance to do at home.”
Tomorrow is the kind of football experience he wouldn’t get either.