Many of us have a dream job when we’re at school. For some of us, this changes as we get older and discover new opportunities. For others, it remains our focus and we put all our efforts into making it happen.
If your passion is sport and you want to compete or play at a professional level, the work and training you do while you are still at school can be crucial.
We were lucky enough to catch up with cricketer and England batsman Eoin Morgan, to find out how he achieved his childhood ambition to play sport professionally and the importance of working hard right from the start.
Name: Eoin Morgan
What is your job? Professional Cricketer - Middlesex and England batsman
How long have you been doing this job? Since 2006
Leaving Certificate: Irish, English, Maths, Geography, Business, French and Economics
What was your first job? My first job was as a professional cricketer as I was signed when I was 16! I was able to work because in Ireland you get a three-month summer holiday and I could finish early or fly back to Dublin to take exams. It took me a couple of years to break into the first team though.
What inspired you to become a cricketer?
I grew up in a big family, I was one of six children and everybody played cricket, so - as well as going to the local club nearby - we had our own team in the back garden. I always had big aspirations to become a cricketer. I realised it was something that you could do as a career at around 13 and since then it’s been the only thing I wanted to do.
I did lot of Irish underage training during the winters in North County Dublin, which was very cold! I’d watch all the winter cricketing tours when I could and spent a term on exchange at a school in South Africa, organised through my school. When I was 14, I played for Ireland under-17's against the England under-15 team and was spotted by the Middlesex second team coach. The next year I went over to Middlesex for a couple of games and the year after that they signed me.
What is a typical day at work like during the cricket season?
I leave the house about 8am to be at the grounds for 8:45 and get in the nets early to get my batting practise done. We warm up as a team from 10am and prepare for an 11am match start. We’re usually playing / training five days a week during the season, it depends how much we’re playing but training can be every day in winter.
What have been your favourite moments?
My highlights so far have been scoring my first test hundred and winning the T-20 world cup.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
It’s probably having to deal with disappointment, especially as a batter – you can do hours and hours of practise and still get out on your first ball. You might have to wait days before you get another opportunity to bat and it can be really tough, especially at the start of your career when you want to make an impression.
What advice do you have for people who want to try and become professional athletes?
Work as hard as you can from the start and keep a positive attitude. It’s taken me a long way in my career. There’s no mantra for what type of person you need to be though, it’s important to just be yourself.
What things do you wish you’d known before starting out?
I think that actually going out, making mistakes and learning from them along the way can be an important experience. The best piece of advice I’ve been given though is just to stay relaxed and enjoy the experience as well.
Who inspires you?
My dad has had a huge influence on my cricket career. He’s the driving force in our family and his love for cricket rubbed off on every single one of us. I’m very thankful that I was introduced to it at such a young age and taught by him. I feel very lucky.
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