"I feel hungry to prove people wrong" says former Wolves starlet Breslin
Longford Town may have unearthed one of the rawest talents of the 2018/19 league of Ireland off-season in former Irish Under-19 International, Anto Breslin. Twenty-one-year-old, Breslin is a quality addition to Neale Fenn’s ranks as the 40-year-old Londoner looks to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion from the First Division in 2019.
As the days count down towards the big kick-off for Longford Town, Breslin caught up with betweenthestripes.ie reporter, Andrew Dempsey, as the Dubliner opened up on his reasons for joining “De Town” and his time with now English Premier League side, Wolverhampton Wanderers.
After being released from Wolves, following the conclusion of the 2017/18 campaign, Breslin, faced with no real prospect of getting into the Wolves first-team, decided to return home in search of regular football at senior level.
While playing a trial match with Shamrock Rovers against Celtic in July, Breslin was regularly training with Neale Fenn’s Longford Town, who were slugging it out for a spot in the First Division Playoffs at the time. This spell encouraged the former St Kevin’s schoolboy to join forces with the Red and Black of the Midlands for 2019 at least.
“I was training in the summer there with the lads (at Longford) when I came back home from Wolves. I was speaking with the gaffer and I liked what he had to say. Other things came up at the time, so I didn’t sign then. When I got the chance again from the gaffer, I couldn’t say no. I’m really looking forward to it now!”
The 2018 First Division was one of the most competitive second-tiers in history and going by some of the recent transfer dealings by Shelbourne and Bray Wanderers in particular, 2019 is shaping up to match, if not surpass the drama witnessed last term.
Breslin is fully aware of how difficult the division is going to be, having watched plenty of the league from the stands last year.
“Everyone has said it’s a really tough league, especially with the teams that are after coming down, it is going to make it really difficult. I don’t see why we can’t make it into the Playoffs next year, we were unlucky not to make them last year, so I don’t see why we can’t make them next year or even do better again and go for the title.”
While Breslin has no senior league experience in any division, he does have a glowing CV. After joining Wolves from St. Kevin’s Boy’s, the talented full-back represented his country on three occasions in the underage codes before a concussion ruled the Blanchardstown native out of the Under-19 European Championships.
“Yeah, it was a brilliant experience. I was actually supposed to go to the U19 Euro’s but then I got injured, a concussion. Before I went, I played against Blackburn and I actually flew to Dublin and then the doctor wouldn’t let me go to the Euro’s. That was unfortunate, but I had a good few years with Ireland, and it was good experience.”
Breslin joined Wolves from schoolboy kingpins St Kevin’s Boys in 2013 as a fresh-faced 16-year-old novice of the game. While many often come home with no love for the beautiful game, the now 21-year-old notes that he will look back on his time at the club with nothing but fondness in the Black Country.
“I was at St. Kevin’s before and I was back and forth on trials and all when I was younger straight after the Kennedy Cup. It was a brilliant experience at Wolves. You were moving into a house with a family you didn’t really know which was tough, and then going in and out of football every day. It takes its toll on you but it has to be done.
“I haven’t a bad word to say about the club and the coaches were just brilliant. They basically reared me, and I can’t say anything bad about my time over there. I don’t feel hungry to go back, I just feel hungry to prove people wrong. I’m not too fussed in going back and I’m happy to be back home, it’s the first time I’ve lived here since I was 16 so that’s great.”
While he has come home refreshed after his spell at Molineux, the talented attacking full-back, who is more than comfortable on the ball, a huge attribute in any Neale Fenn side, Breslin concluded that he is hoping that he can help Longford Town make a sustained push for promotion in 2019, while also dipping his toes into the senior footballing environment for the first time of his career.
“We just missed out on the Playoffs last year and I can’t see why we can’t do much better next year with the group of lads that have just come in. Obviously, the gaffer has plans of bringing in a few more and that’s only going to help our chances once more.
“I want to play every week, I haven’t played a league game yet so I’m looking forward to testing myself in that regard. I want to get us promoted, play every week and get my name out there again!”