Sean Meere, like most teenagers his age, is completely sports mad. The 13-year-old loves playing for his native club Clarecastle in both hurling and football while playing in the storied blue of St. Flannan’s is equally special to him.
However it is soccer where Sean is currently making big waves. A graduate of the Clare Emerging Talent programme that competed in the 2022 Galway Cup Sean recently signed League of Ireland forms for Limerick side Treaty United and will play in the FAI Under 14 National League of Ireland.
A proud moment for his family but as his father Alan informed the Champion, it was a moment he earned through sheer hard work
“It’s like a ladder really with all these different steps, firstly participating in the emerging talent programme for Clare which led to a regional programme over a three-month period with numbers being cut constantly.
“After completion of the regional programme Sean attended the FAI Centre of Excellence below in the University of Limerick. From there he played for the academy and was then selected for trials for Treaty. It’s been a bit of a journey but I was so proud when he signed that contract.”
His mother Leona is obviously equally proud, but gives all the credit to Sean’s work ethic.
“From a young age he had a steely determination, he was very headstrong in what he wanted to do and that was playing sports. He has an incredible focus when it comes to sport so I was delighted for him when he signed that contract.”
A talented hurler and footballer I ask Sean where did the soccer ability come from. Quick as a flash he responds, “Apparently my mother was some winger back in the day!”
Fiercely down to earth Sean has a huge love for all sport.
“I just love playing. It’s great to put on the black and white jersey for Clarecastle and it’s brilliant hurling for someone like Brendan Bugler in Flannans. I’ve been really lucky with the coaching I’ve received both with my club and especially my school.”
On that note Sean feels he wouldn’t be playing for Treaty but for one man in particular – Declan Farmer.
“I joined Lifford in 2017 and to be honest I could barely kick a football but Declan Farmer was amazing. He taught me how to play and where to position myself to receive the ball in the best possible position.
“He was always encouraging us to get the ball and keep it moving. Declan was just an outstanding coach and playing for Lifford was fantastic. We reached the final 32 of the National Cup last December but unfortunately I couldn’t continue the journey with Lifford after signing for Treaty.”
So what has it been like since joining League of Ireland outfit Treaty?
“Everything is so much faster. It’s two touches and move the ball. If you take three touches you probably get lamped by a player. You have to know your next pass before you receive the ball.
“We train three nights a week. We are in the gym on Monday, it’s tactical training on Tuesdays regarding formations and pressing and we do video analysis. We learn when to press, how to press and when to sit. It’s very intense but very enjoyable too.
“On Thursdays we are out on the pitch working on ball skills and game scenarios. It’s just so professional. It’s hard work but it’s worth it. I’m really looking forward to playing in some brilliant venues against the likes of Shamrock Rovers and Galway United.”
Was it difficult settling in to a new club with new players?
“No it’s been great because after going through the centre of excellence you knew most of the players already and we have great craic. Obviously it’s tough but it’s a fantastic opportunity. You are playing at a really high level, learning all the time and you just don’t know what can come out of it.”
Sean supports Manchester United and his favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo so would playing for United be his ultimate dream?
“Of course I would love to play at Old Trafford. Like everyone else you have to dream but I’m just happy to be playing sports to be honest. I love hurling too and playing for my club and school is just brilliant but yeah playing for the reds would be amazing.”
There is no knowing where this journey will lead to but Sean backed by his proud supportive parents will no doubt give it his all and cherish this fantastic opportunity.
He is progressing all the time and in fact captained the team last Sunday and scored from his central midfield role in their defeat to UCD.