Sunday 20 October 2019

Mark: I gave up golf to focus on football

Mark Travers. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Mark Travers. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Ireland hopeful Mark Travers is convinced he made the right decision by pursuing a career as a footballer, even though the door to a career in professional golf was open.

The 20-year-old is on a high as the Premier League season finished with him getting in two appearances for Bournemouth, Travers keeping a clean sheet on his debut.

Still eligible for the Ireland U21s, he has his sights set on progress with Mick McCarthy's senior team as he's seen as second-choice behind Darren Randolph for a week-long training camp in Portugal ahead of two Euro 2020 qualifiers.

But life could have taken Travers towards golf, as the promising young sportsman looked at a career in that code.

"I played quite a bit to be honest when I was younger. That's all I did up to 14 or 15.

"I was probably going to play golf instead of football, until Under-16s when I started going on a few trials and football took over," says Travers, who had a handicap of four at the age of 14.

"My Dad took me everywhere around the country. It helped me with my football career, getting that experience in front of people.

"I knew it was a tough sport to go down mentally, just by yourself all day and a lot of hours practising.

"In the end I thought football was the better decision," he added, pondering the golf scholarship route in the US before the Cherries called.

"That's what all the friends I was golfing with are doing now, there's loads of them out there doing that. It was probably the route I would have looked towards."

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