A New Dawn….

Okay, this is more of an apology to myself. When I started my blog, I desperately wanted not to be one of those bloggers whose posts tail off and die. There is always time to write a couple of paragraphs, always time to note down a couple of thoughts. But life got the better of me and I tailed off just as things got interesting…

In October 2017, I joined Toronto Wolfpack as their Performance Analyst on a full time contract. As part of the contract, I was also to coach Manchester Metropolitan University’s Rugby League team. Toronto and Manchester Metropolitan had just announced an amazing partnership that would see Toronto be based and train at the Universities world-class facility at Platt Lane and the University’s Rugby League team also trained and played there.

Everything went brilliantly, Toronto were playing well, the University team were playing well. It was all going according to plan. Toronto were top of the league and the University team got into the promotion playoffs. Then the bombshell dropped….

My wife and I had talked about me travelling with the team when we went to play our home games in Toronto. Due to our ground having renovations, we were to be in Toronto for 8 or 9 weeks. A long time without your family. We considered them coming over for a while but school holidays and Claire’s work just didn’t add up.

My wife runs her own business, babyballet. It has expanded from the UK to Australia and New Zealand. She had also had enquiries from some dance teachers in other countries and Claire explained that she would love to go and visit these counties with a view to further expansion. One of these countries was Canada and soon enough the idea had formed about us taking the kids out of school and going on a ‘world’ tour. The more we talked, the more excited we got and said ‘why not?’

And that was the bombshell. I now had to make a decision about going on a world tour and showing my children sites they would only ever get to see in textbooks or staying in, what I believe, is one of the best analysis jobs in sport! I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have to choose between 2 amazing choices, work or family. I suppose deep down I always knew that family would come first…

I discussed the ‘predicament’ with the management at Toronto and they were really supportive. It was an opportunity that I can’t turn down but one thing that I had always maintained was that it wasn’t going to happen until the season had ended.

And so there we have it. We’ve been back in Toronto for two weeks now and tomorrow, Family O’Connor arrive after renting our home and selling everything that we can’t bring with us to begin the first leg of our journey – 2 months in Canada.