We caught up with Eddie from the Dublin Devils to learn more about his experience with the team, the benefits of sports participation with his peers, and what the Devils have planned for the year ahead!
Tell us a bit about your background in sport? Growing up in England, I played football, rugby and cricket at school, and in my college years I played a lot of badminton and snooker. When I graduated and moved to Dublin in 2003, I started playing 5-a-side football with my work colleagues and it ignited a passion for football. I joined the Dublin Devils for their second-ever kickabout session in the summer of 2005 and had a great few months playing with them! I had left to go travelling later that year and when I returned in 2006, I decided to challenge myself and train for a marathon. It was hard work, I could barely run a mile at first! But I kept going, caught the running bug and have finished 14 marathons in total (9x Dublin, 4x Edinburgh, 1x London). I returned to the Dublin Devils in 2012 for a few months, and again in 2017 until the present day. What motivated you to join the Dublin Devils? I was just out of the closet to a few friends in 2005 and didn't have any gay mates, (or even friends from outside of work), so I decided to give it a go. I found it helped with my own personal development and it was amazing being able to finally open up and be myself on and off the pitch. I rejoined in 2017 as I missed playing in a team sport - long-distance running got a bit lonely! If you had to single out one moment or event as being the highlight of your time with the Devils, what would it be? My personal highlight is my first away trip with the Devils to Munich in 2019 for a fundraiser tournament for Munich Aids Foundation, which involved various teams from Europe. It was a really enjoyable trip, I was there supporting the guys and they gave it a good go before exiting at the knockout stages. We went out for dinner, drinks and dancing afterwards with the other teams. The day after we went to the Christmas markets and had mulled wine and hot chocolate before flying back. There were a few tired heads on that flight! What are the Devils plans for 2020? In August we're off to Düsseldorf for the EuroGames 2020 to participate in the 11-a-side and 7-a-side soccer tournaments. We've a few supporters going to cheer the guys on too! Closer to home, we're planning to have a few friendly matches with other LGBT+ teams such as the Cork Rebels and Belfast Blaze. For Dublin Pride week in June, we're planning to play Shelbourne XI for the 4th time. We have a busy social calendar too, with non-football events happening each month. This gives players and supporters a chance to have fun and get to know each other off the pitch. What advice would you have for anyone who is thinking about joining the club but is unsure? My advice would be to get in touch with us, come to a Saturday social kickabout, give it a go, and have fun! We play 1-2pm every Saturday at the YMCA, Aungier St., Dublin 2. Speaking from experience, getting in touch was easy, but showing up to the first session was the hardest step (I still remember having butterflies in my stomach!). We're a friendly bunch and welcome players of all abilities, including beginners. The key is to play a few times to get a feel for the club and its members. The nerves will disappear and confidence will grow. Enjoy the games and don't give up!
2019 highlights video:
Links to Dublin Devils website and social media: Website: http://dublindevilsfc.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dublindevilsfc Twitter: http://twitter.com/dublindevilsfc Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dublindevilsfc