Back in October last year, Bohemians goalkeeper Shane Supple was named in the League of Ireland team of the year.
However, one month later, the 31-year-old former Dublin GAA stopped stunned many by announcing his retirement from the game at the age of just 31 due to an ongoing hip problem.
Clonaslee’s Niall Corbet will be the man that will attempt to fill his gloves this season at Dalymount Park but if you had asked him at the end of last season where he would end up – signing for one of Ireland’s most decorated clubs wasn’t on his radar.
After a successful 2017 with UCD in the First Division where he was named goalkeeper of the Year, Corbet signed for Waterford FC for the 2018 season.
However, a switch to full-time football was not what Corbet thought it would be and speaking to LaoisToday, he explained that he didn’t really enjoy it.
He said: “It was an incredible experience and playing in front of 7,000 fans in Turner’s Cross against Cork City was certainly a highlight.
“But it was difficult. Like we would finish training at 1pm and I was in a City where I didn’t know many people.
“So you are around the same lads that you play and train with all of the time and I found that very difficult.
“I found it very hard to balance it all. Some lads find the lifestyle brilliant but it just wasn’t for me so I had decided I was going to leave Waterford at the end of the season and go back to playing football part-time.”
In the off-season, Niall got an internship with Glanbia Performance Nutrition which is based just outside Citywest in Dublin.
When he left Waterford, he had a number of offers on the table but he revealed he was initially reluctant to sign for Bohemians.
He said: “Keith Long (Bohemian’s manager) contacted me early on but Shane Supple had just been named on the Team of the Year at that stage and I wasn’t too keen to go somewhere to sit on the bench.
“I wanted to play first team football and I had clubs like Longford on the table too so I didn’t mind dropping down a division in order to play.
“However, then Shane decided to retire and Keith was back on to me straight away so it was a no-brainer then.
“Shane’s will certainly be big shoes to fill. He has been head and shoulders ahead of everyone else in the league for the last number of years in my opinion.
“We train five nights a week with Bohs so my boss in Glanbia has been very understanding with me and I am very appreciative of that.
“It works very well now as I have my work life and my football life so the balance is very important for me.”
Looking ahead to the new season, which gets underway tonight, Corbet believes it will take time for Bohemians to gel together this season.
He said: “We have signed 7 or 8 lads from England so it will take them time to get used to our league.
“Initially we will just try to accumulate as many points as possible and then take stock of where we are.”
Bohemian’s face newly promoted Finn Harps at Dalymount Park tonight at 7.45pm.