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Cabinteely's Jack Tuite: 'Maybe if I hadn't gone to England things might have been different, but I have no regrets'

Thu, Aug 02 2018

Tuite (right) in action during a recent league win over Athlone Town. Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

Jack Tuite and his brother Matt are running the Dublin Marathon in aid of Pieta House in October. If you're interested in donating to a worthy cause, click this link.

Cabinteely defender Jack Tuite is one of those people who needs a lot more than 24 hours in a day.

The 21-year old balances a part time job, a college degree as well as the serious amount of time and commitment that is all part of playing League of Ireland football.

“I’m going into second year studying a Leisure Management degree,” said Tuite, outlining what his weekly schedule looks like.

“I have been doing a PLC course the last two years to make up for not doing my leaving cert due to moving to England at such a young age.

“I’m also working part-time in DCU Sport as a fitness instructor, so it’s difficult to manage college, football and work but it has to be done.

“I try to give most of my time to football but I have to make sure I have a career in place as well because as we all know, football will not always be around.

“My boss in the job is good to me and is flexible with my hours because he understands how football is.”

Tuite has had a ball at his feet since a very young age.

After starting out on the memorable Lawns in Ballyfermot and signing for Cherry Orchard, the Dubliner made a brave move to Derby County at the tender age of just 16.

Huge expectations, the fear of the unknown, and thousands of youngsters with the exact same hopes and dreams mean the standard required to reach the heights of Premier League football being lifted to a level higher than ever before.

“I played for Cherry Orchard from the age of seven or eight. I loved my time at Cherry Orchard. We had a great team with lads who stuck together and had good craic too.

“We were a tight bunch and we won lots of trophies. We had a lot of success and did ver well under Davy Collins and Allaistar Harvey.

“I learned a lot from them and still keep in touch with them and other lads off the team.

“I left Cherry Orchard when I was 16 and moved to Derby. A year later one or two other lads went away as well, with the rest joining LOI teams. Playing on the Lawns in Ballyfermot every week set me up to be ready to play anywhere!

“I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a professional footballer so when the chance came around I had to grab it. I have no regrets for going for it.

“Things didn’t work out but it could have been different. I also didn’t like school that much so playing football every day or sitting in a classroom wasn’t a difficult choice at the time.”

Although it didn’t work out for Tuite at Derby, the experience at the time and the knowledge he gained and is now implementing in his football on a weekly basis for Cabinteely made it all worth it.

It's something that will stand to Jack every day on the training field and in his football career.

“In England there were a lot of ups and downs.

“I loved the football, training every day in a professional environment with top players but I found it tough off the pitch with plenty of spare time on my hands.

“I had a good digs family and they looked after me so that made it easier. Overall I’d look back on my experience with Derby as a positive one.

“I’d love to go abroad to play football again, whether that be in England or elsewhere. I’d like to play at the best level I can.

“I’m enjoying my football at the minute with Cabo so we’ll see where it takes me”

Over the last number of years there has been an increasing trend of players who have come back to the League of Ireland after a brief stint at a UK club, worked hard for a few years and secured a second move.

Many of those players are now reaping the rewards the second time around with a better knowledge of the game and a maturity that wouldn’t have been there at 15 or 16.

Back enjoying, Tuite is prepared to put whatever it takes in to play at the highest level possible again and has plenty of recent examples to take inspiration from who walked a similar road.

“In recent years, the likes of Sean Maguire and Richie Towell have shown that coming home and playing at the top level here can put you back in the shop window and, with lots of hard, work can still lead to success across the water.

“They are a good example to players that do get released from English clubs that there is always a way to get to the top if you really want to get there.

“Maybe if I had stayed here at schoolboy level and became more established League of Ireland player things might have been different but I have no regrets for the decisions I’ve made.”

With just five games remaining in the season, Jack hopes himself and his Cabinteely team mates can put together a nice FAI Cup run starting against Newmarket Celtic in two weeks’ time.

Along with that and as if he didn’t have enough to be balancing, himself and his brother will run the Dublin Marathon in October, with any money that they raise going towards Pieta House.

A different type of Christmas present from within the Tuite household but a challenge that himself and his brother are looking forward to.

“This came about as a Christmas present from my Dad [League of Ireland referee Paul Tuite]. Some Christmas present!

“He has done a good few before so he thought it would be a good idea for me and my brother to do one.

“This is going to be a very new challenge for my brother and I as we haven’t done much road running before.

“It will be tough finding time to train with college, work and football, but with the charity in mind I know we will get the work done.

“My brother has been training well for it and we try get out together as much as we can. It will be a great challenge for both of us but something we look forward to.

He continued: “My brother and I have both had some down times and understand for people how easy it is to get stuck in a rut.

“We see how much people in Ireland are suffering with mental health problems and we wanted to try to bring more awareness to mental health.

“Pieta House do some great work helping people when they feel they are at the end. They help people by dealing with suicide awareness and prevention.

“Any money that we can raise through doing this can hopefully help people that are suffering and need the help.

“We still have a bit to go to reach our target, which we have set at €1,500, so any donations made will help.

“There is a link to the fundraising page on my twitter page @JackTuite2 or for people that know me I will also be collecting money for a sponsorship card at matches as well”.

With five league games remaining and a possible cup run as well he will need to be careful with his effort of trying to be fit for both but a balancing act is something that Jack is well used to.

“Training has been slow for myself as I don’t want to do too much before training or games.We are both fit but running 42k in itself is a big challenge never mind trying to beat your brother!

“I reckon we will run it together that way we can push each other on. We will work hard and set a time we want to aim for before the run takes place and we’ll go from there.

“I’m sure we will both need to push each other on but knowing we are raising funds for such a fantastic charity will make it that little bit easier."