Conor Pepper is currently in his second season at Scottish Premier Football League (SPFL) outfit Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The former St. Patrick’s Athletic midfielder was home for the international break last weekend, so we met him in Malahide – joined by his sister Naoise – to talk about his career so far.
In part one of our interview, we speak about Pepper’s time at Inverness so far, his goals for the season, his thoughts on how the League of Ireland u19 championship matches its Scottish equivalent, his former club’s title charge in the Premier Division this season, and his international ambitions.
Part one excerpt:
How did you acclimatise to the full-time training at Inverness after moving from a part-time set-up at St. Patrick’s Athletic?
"Full-time is difficult, you tire obviously," Pepper told loi19.com. "You get used to it after a while, training every day, but when I first started my legs would be drained the next day, and when you’re tired it can be a struggle to keep your standard up. I only trained twice a week with Pats but we had good training there. We had Robbie Mohan as our coach and he is one of the best coaches I’ve worked under, he was really good.
"We had a lot of good players in that Pats team as well, a lot of them have gone on to play first-team here already, like Adam O’Connor, Rob Cornwall [both Shelbourne], Ryan Coombes, Izzy Akinade [both Bray Wanderers] – they all played in the same Pat's 19s team as me and they’re all playing first team now, so it just shows we were at a good level then."
Continue reading part one of my interview with Conor Pepper on loi19.com.
In part two of our interview, we speak about Pepper’s early sporting life, playing for Pats in the u19s league, the confusion surrounding his playing position, Richie Foran’s Champions League goals, his ambitions for the future, and his thoughts on being part of the club which consistently causes Glasgow Celtic grief.
Part two excerpt:
Who would be the biggest influences on your career?
"In all honesty, Richie Foran, he’s been the main one [influence]," Pepper told loi19.com. "He tells me about every side of the game when we’re at training: off the field, on the field, how to handle certain characters when you’re meeting different people.
"I’d never spoken to the press before, so he took me aside and told me what to say: just relax, you’ve done well so they’re not trying to do anything bad. During the week, before a game, they’re looking to twist things; after a game they’re just looking for you to be relaxed and enjoy yourself.
"So, Richie’s probably been the biggest influence on me and my career."
Foran's an old pro: he's been around the block and knows what it's all about.
"He started in the Eircom League as well when he was with Shelbourne – and his most-used quote is “I’ve scored two goals for Shels in the Champions League.” Every week he mentions it once!"
Continue reading part two of my interview with Conor Pepper on loi19.com.