Brandon O'Callaghan (Wexford Youths)
Name: Brandon O'Callaghan
Club: Wexford Youths
Playing Position: Goalkeeper
How long have you been playing at this level? This is my second season at this level.
Is the standard what you expected it to be? Yes, the standard is very high. Last season we were playing in the Elite Division and the quality of some of the teams was incredible. Even in this season's Southern Division, all six teams play some really nice football and there is never an easy game.
How have you found the step up from underage level? It's a massive step up. Every week you're playing against the best teams and players in Ireland and the experience gained from that is priceless. At underage level, you'd train once a week, turn up at the weekend for the match, travel by car to away games, and go home. At this level, everything is done more professionally. Training is more frequent and at a higher standard. Every game is tough. The squad travel together on the team bus to away games, and obviously there is a higher quality of opposition.
What is the best thing about playing in the Under-19 League? There's many to choose from. The whole matchday experience, travelling to all corners of the country on the team bus, playing in some of Ireland's most impressive and historic grounds, and gaining great experience of playing at such a high level every week.
What is the worst thing about playing in the Under-19 League? Without being biased, I can't really say anything about the league that would make me not want to play in it. I'm playing at the highest level of Under-19 football in Ireland and I'm grateful for that alone.
What is the best ground you have played in at Under-19’s and why? Probably Galway United's Eamonn Deacy Park. We played up there recently and the pitch was like a carpet, the stadium itself was very impressive and there was a decent atmosphere inside the ground. We were well looked after, and our last gasp 4-3 win added to the whole enjoyment.
What has been the highlight of your career to date? Definitely has to be winning the FAI Youth Cup last season with Wexford Youths.
What are your hopes for the future? I hope to progress into the Wexford Youths first team squad in the future and I would love to play senior football for many years to come.
What one thing could be done to improve the Under-19 League? I personally think the structure of this season's Southern Division needs to be looked at. With the exception of Wexford Youths, every other team in the division is located in the Midlands/West of the country. Financially, travelling to these away games can be very difficult.
Who is your biggest influence in football? My whole family. They have always been there pushing me, advising me and supporting me since I began playing football as a kid.
Favourite movie? Mean Machine
Favourite Actor? Adam Sandler
Favourite Actress? Megan Fox
Favourite car? Audi R8
What do you do to relax outside football? I enjoy hanging out with my mates back home in Waterford.
Tell us a (clean) joke – Did you hear about the fire up in Tayto Park? Place is burnt to a crisp!