It's the White time for Brian to say goodbye to Louth football as he sets off to Australia on new adventure

IT'S been almost six months, but still Brian White has not watched the video of the Leinster Final.

IT'S been almost six months, but still Brian White has not watched the video of the Leinster Final.

In an amazing revelation, he revealed that he may sit down to watch it just days before he departs Ireland and Louth for Australia.

White, along with Naomh Mairtin player Mick Fanning will leave Louth on Monday, January 10 when they fly to Thailand and then to Sydney, Australia.

The plans at the moment are to find work in Sydney, settle down and perhaps play football for a team over there.

For an intrepid traveller like White, it is an itch that he has waited seven years to scratch. The Cooley Kickhams player went over to Australia after he finished school, aged 18.

He was a bit young then, admittedly, but it has not stopped the yearning he has to travel.

"I went straight after school when I was 18 and I went for three months. Ever since I came back, I always said I would go back once I got a qualification and it turned out to be an apprenticeship so I am just glad to be going back.

"I went over to meet a neighbour in Melbourne and we lived in Sydney for six weeks and Melbourne for the other six weeks. Maybe I was too young at that stage. I did not know much of what was happening around me. But I have itchy feet. I love going away on holidays and meeting new people, seeing new things and now I am looking forward to the year away."

Leaving behind

He is now days away from the ultimate holiday experience, but for anyone who is asking, the Cooley man does know what he is leaving behind.

Last season, he was seconds away from winning a Leinster Senior Championship and a Louth Senior Championship. One was taken away cruelly but fairly, the other was daylight robbery. The former being the game against Mattock Rangers, the latter being Martin Sludden's decision in the final against Meath.

White is haunted by the events of the final, not so much the decision by the Tyrone whistleblower, but the chances he and his team missed prior to the incident. But perhaps time away will heal the wounds.

"I still have the final Sky Plussed", said White. "I might just give it one full look before I go, before I cancel the Sky. It might get it out of the system.

"It might be easier if I look at it. Maybe I should do something like that during the week but it's very hard to. I probably will look at it.

"I'm sure after any game a player analyses stuff where they had chances. I know for a long time, it was the goal that was the whole talk, but then you think of the chances we did have to win it. A lot of people started to talk about that and it comes back at you all the time. It's hard."

Looking back on the crazy summer, White admits that when he is in Australia come June, he will miss the palpable excitement of the Championship.


Like Mick Fanning, he also points out the parade before the Leinster Final as the best moment of his playing career.

"The feeling after the semi-final, when we knew that we were going to play in a Leinster Final and walking around in the final parade aswell was the best feeling of the year.

"Doing parades with the club, it was a lot different doing it in Croke Park with thousands of people there."

During the parade, White can remember his fellow travellers, Brian White and Mick Fanning trying to make each other at ease.

"It was kind of weird. John O'Brien and Mick Fanning were in front of me and we were trying to relax each other by talking to each other and making each other laugh to take the nerves off and settle us.

"I was looking at it going Louth football is not used to this, it was strange. It was brilliant. To me, it seemed like there was a lot more Louth supporters there on the day than Meath supporters. All the flags and all the kids with them, it seemed as though we overpowered them in the stands with noise as we went around.

"I will definitely miss days like that. The sun shining and Louth fans going up to games in the Championship. I will miss the build up and the hype."


One thing White won't miss is the pressure that comes with being a county footballer and the slog of the National League, where things don't often go your way due to bad pitches and difficult conditions.

Looking at Louth's game against Down on Sunday, he was somewhat relieved he was not involved.

"It was weird looking at it, but I know playing football this time of the year is very tough so I was kind of happy to be sitting looking at it. I know it takes maybe three to four weeks to get the sharpness back. Everything doesn't really go for you in the first few weeks so it was weird looking at.

"Anytime you put on a Louth jersey, that's always there. Expectations are going to be very high for this year. There could be a lot more pressure on people than ever before, but there's pressure all the time when you are a county footballer.

"It is tough. Trying to perform consistently is very hard. Some fans think you are as good as your last game, which is harsh. League football is a hard slog. I don't think it suits Louth that well as we are a more footballing time, not tough tacklers."

Looking ahead

He recently got his qualification as a plumber and now, he is looking forward to his travels. His parents are supportive as they know that he wants to travel and that he cannot find work.

White lost his fifth Louth Senior Championship Final this year when Mattock beat Cooley in the final.

The aftermath of losing was something White was almost accustomed to.

When asked what he would do if Cooley won Joe Ward and Louth won the Leinster Championship next summer whilst he was in Australia, White laughed.

""I would cry probably, a mixture of happyness and sadness. It would be great to see both teams win it, but it would be tough to know that you could be part of it and were not there.

"It would be different if I were retired, but it's another thing if I could have been there. I'll only know how to react if it does happen."

Speaking on the Louth Championship final he said: "It's not a nice feeling at all. You feel like a loser because you haven't won anything and you lost so many times. It's great to be playing in these finals and I hope to play in many more."

Everywhere he goes now, White will be asked about the Leinster Final. It's something he knows he cannot get away from. Even on his travels, he expects that it might come up.

"Someone will probably say it as I am going through customs. I'm sure it won't take somebody long to mention it."

Brian White in action for Louth