As we finished our week in Belfast, it was finally time to depart to our own cities and say our see you laters to our new scholars and friends. Since Maddy and I were in Cork, the southern most tip of Ireland, it was going to be a long journey as we first had to drop off our friends going to Waterford. Even though a long drive down to Cork, it was a fun and exciting one as we traveled through the whole country of Ireland. As we arrived to Cork we were greeted by what else but rain. At this point though, I have started to like the light drizzle each day. We went to our accommodation, got settled in for a couple hours, then headed to my first training session that same night! I entered Neptune Stadium and everyone was so friendly and welcoming, trying to learn more about their new American. I then took a tour of the facility and the amount of enthusiasm and passion they had for their basketball club was incredible. They started telling me the storied past and history of the club and you could tell how much pride everyone had for this team. As I met teammates and started to practice there was a level of energy that mirrored a college basketball practice which showed to me that this team and club took their basketball very seriously which made me ecstatic.
The next day, Maddy and I toured the city and it is one of the coolest cities I have ever been to. We found in the heart of Cork City, The English Market, which is a roofed food market, and has been trading since 1788. The market is actually one of the oldest municipal markets of it’s kind in the world. It had everything from fresh seafood, meat, chocolate, pastries, coffee, and more. You name it they had it! The best item I enjoyed though was an O’Flynns Gourmet Sausage with grilled onions, battered onion bits, garlic mayo, ketchup, and another red brown sauce that I could not tell you what it was, but it was delicious.
I was thrown right into the fire with coaching Neptune’s U14 team as well. Two days after arrival, I was heading down to Limerick to coach the team in a preseason tournament. It was great to meet all the players and parents and to start getting used to the team I’d be coaching. Unfortunately we came in second in the tournament, but I was very proud about how hard they played each game.
So all in all an exciting and entertaining first bit in Cork and I am so eager to take on what this city has to offer!!!
Until next time!!