GARETH MAHER - Monday, November 30, 2009
Ryan Guy admits that he has just come through his most difficult year as a professional, but there are reasons to be upbeat as he recently became a father for the first time.
For St. Patrick's Athletic supporters, 2009 has been a year that they will want to quickly forget, although there were some positives that Guy can draw upon as he reflects on a turblent past few months.
The San Diego native enjoyed another fantastic European run with The Super Saints, scored the goal that kept them in the Premier Division, was voted as the Fans' Player of the Year, and capped it all off by becoming a father last month with the birth of baby Zander.
However, there were negative notes including a relegation dogfight, manager Jeff Kenna being replaced with eight games to go, and a terrible record at home that has been deemed one of the worst in the club's history.
Ask him to sum up his year and Guy takes a deep breath before searching for the right words. It has certainly been a rollercoaster year, yet he remains upbeat due to the fact that St. Pat's are still in the top flight and he will be sticking with them for another year at least.
"Wow. It has definitely been my most difficult year as a player," Guy recently told YA. "The team really came together towards the end of the season though and we did just enough to survive."
"Pete [Mahon] and John [Gill] were a real plus. They were able to forge a new team chemistry and bring much more out of us than we were previously giving as a team.
"Pete has a reputation for being old school, but I'd describe it as being old school that has evolved. He expects a lot from players and nobody is left in the dark with regard to knowing what you have to do.
"He also has a great working relationship with John. With Pete's disciplinary regime and John's training, it is a combination that works really well."
With the managerial hot seat at Richmond Park currently vacant, Guy believes that Mahon would be the ideal candidate to take the job on a full-time basis and stated that it would be interesting to see what he is like for a full season.
As he prepares to visit family in England during the off-season, he admits that soccer is never far from his thoughts and is already looking forward to next year.
"We only have three guys in contract at the club and there is no head coach or CEO at the moment," he confessed. "So nobody really knows what is going on."
"It was important for the fans that we didn't get relegated. They have been fantastic and deserved a much better year, but hopefully he can turn things around in 2010."
"I always believe that what doesn't you makes you stronger. So we have to grow from this experience - I know that I have learned a lot from it."
Guy has another year on his contract with the Dublin club.