MICHEÁL SCHLINGERMANN reached an All-Ireland final and an FAI Cup final in 2009.
The Mayo man, 29, was first selection as their minors reached the decider towards Armagh, however they have been gunned down Zero-10 to Zero-7 at Croke Park.
Two months later he sat on the Sligo Rovers bench at Tallaght Stadium as Paul Cook’s Bit O’Red have been turned over 2-1 by Sporting Fingal.
The Kiltimagh man stayed on the League of Ireland path, and a complete profession took him from the Showgrounds to Athlone Town, Monaghan United, Drogheda United and again to Sligo Rovers once more.
In June 2018 he left the Showgrounds once more after a turbulent second spell and discovered himself again west the place all of it started.
After ten years on the soccer pitch, his Gaelic soccer dream by no means pale.
Where Schlingermann grew up, GAA is king.
And an opportunity return for Kiltimagh in a membership problem recreation led to a cellphone name from boss James Horan.
His Mayo dream was alive as soon as extra. He hit pause on his soccer profession and he joined the squad for the 2019 marketing campaign.
They received a National League title however ducked out of the Championship following a Three-14 to 1-10 All-Ireland semi-final loss to Dublin.
Although he noticed no recreation time that summer time, he was decided to stake a severe declare in his battle for the No 1 jersey with David Clarke and Rob Hennelly.
BACK TO SOCCER
But it was to not be. As Christmas approached, Horan phoned him once more to say he was surplus to necessities.
He reverted codes to hitch Galway United, and is again at Athlone Town this season in the First Division.
But Schlingermann — born to German mother and father — nonetheless wonders what may need been.
He informed SunSport: “For me it’s sort of a bittersweet factor, as a result of I went by a tricky time at Sligo Rovers and sort of left the League of Ireland that yr.
“When I used to be going by my unhealthy patch, I reverted to going dwelling to the place the place I grew up and I simply performed.
“I solely stepped in for a problem recreation whereas I didn’t have a membership and had no intention of really sticking round.
WOULD HAVE PRIORITISED GAA
“Then the chance got here of really going into the county panel and that might have been my plan ‘A’ from then on.
“If the choice was mine on the time I wouldn’t have left the Mayo panel, I wouldn’t have left Gaelic soccer.
“I’d have given that each one of my focus and consideration reasonably than going again to soccer.
“I bought the chance with Mayo and it was an unbelievable yr.
“We went and received the league, however we fell brief in the Championship.
“But it was a very nice transition yr for me and I used to be attending to know the sport once more.
“I spent so lengthy out of it, it was like a model new sport for me to be trustworthy.
“Just earlier than Christmas in 2019 I used to be informed I wasn’t going to be stored on for 2020.
“I do miss the high-performance ingredient of it. It simply didn’t work out, so when Galway United got here knocking it was again to fundamentals for me in a means.”
Mayo reached the 2020 All-Ireland final as Schlingermann and the remainder of the nation watched on from dwelling.
Again, Dublin proved too sturdy and received their sixth title on the trot because of a 2-14 to Zero-15 victory at an empty Croke Park.
CHEERED THEM ON
Despite his worry of lacking out, all he needs is for the county to recover from the road after 70 years of harm.
He stated: “I wouldn’t essentially say it was robust, as a result of in Mayo it’s a special kettle of fish — you simply need the lads to win one.
“It’s simply a kind of issues that you simply assist all of them the best way.
“Obviously there was that worry of lacking out, however that might be the one adverse emotions you’d have — wishing you have been nonetheless a part of it.
“But in that yr I realized a lot and picked up so many issues that I can hopefully convey to the remainder of my soccer profession.”
The Mayo squad can have a special look in 2021 as Clarke, Donal Vaughan, Chris Barrett, Keith Higgins, Tom Parsons and Séamus O’Shea have all retired.
But in basic, the backbone of the group is identical and Schlingermann says that is without doubt one of the greatest variations when he compares Gaelic soccer to League of Ireland soccer.
Those ties haven’t been severed both, as he’s the brand new goalkeeping coach for the Mayo girls group below Michael Moyles.
He stated: “There’s much more consideration to element in that setting as a result of you’ve got the identical gamers.
“You are assured the identical gamers for an extended period of time, whereas the chopping and altering that goes on in soccer doesn’t assist you to have that continuation and to construct one thing over the course of a few years.
“Athlone Town is a first-rate instance of it — there’s been a whole change of gamers the place practically each member of the 2020 squad is gone.
“That doesn’t occur in GAA due to the tradition of it.”
‘The Town’ are going properly below Adrian Carberry.
They are unbeaten in their opening six video games and had a cushty Three-Zero victory towards Wexford on Friday night time.
Despite sitting on the prime of the league, their stopper insists they don’t seem to be considering of promotion. For him, consistency is essential.
He stated: “The factor about coming into a brand new dressing room, particularly with so many new signings and issues like that, is definitely hitting the bottom operating and creating that group chemistry as early as potential and translating that into outcomes.
“Thankfully we’ve been ready to try this, despite the fact that restrictions haven’t allowed for any group bonding as such.
“But we’re actually pleased with the best way issues have began.
“Adrian and the board on the membership are having an actual go this yr and they can sort of construct a squad stuffed with proficient gamers.
“That was an enormous issue in me signing.
“I wouldn’t say promotion is the goal. In our first recreation we drew 2-2 UCD, nevertheless it felt like a win as a result of we scored so late.
“It’s a protracted season. Just a few video games with no loss can quickly be forgotten about.
“You must watch out about how excessive you set targets.
“You have to look at the whole season from our perspective and try to be as competitive and as consistent as possible.”