Yesterday Conor Hourihane started Aston Villa's 3-1 loss to Spurs and played 82 minutes. The final scoreline wasn't flattering for Villa but for Hourihane, yesterday will be a day to savour for the rest of his life. That match was the culmination of an incredibly long and uncertain journey that he started as a teenager in Bandon andtook him from Sunderland and Ipswich in the Keano eras to Plymouth Argyle in League Two, to Barnsley in League One, and to the Championship and ultimately to the Premier League with Aston Villa.
Where do players get the motivation to keep believing they can reach the apex of their ambitions when there are so many forces trying to tell them otherwise all of the time? This morning, Hourihane revealed how the comments of @CraigTa90961607 - ironically a Villa fan and from what Hourihane says, a former teammate - while Hourihane was at Plymouth have motivated him to this day.
Hi Craig, remember this tweet back in 2014... I always remember it to this day. Ironically your a Villa fan who I made my debut with! Never tell anyone they can’t achieve something 👍🏻 @CraigTa90961607 pic.twitter.com/smCgi0VSlO
— Conor Hourihane (@ConorHourihane) August 11, 2019
Hourihane goes on to ask him 'can I not dream???'. CraigTa90961607 outrightly dismisses the notion: 'I think you're a decent player and I rate you but just being honest. I have limitations in my work too'.
Twitter is not just full of frothing trolls. It's full of people like Craig who are very happy to tell you what you can't achieve and what you'll never do.
Well CraigTa90961607, thankfully Hourihane didn't listen to you. He's an Ireland international now, and he started a Premier League match yesterday, and he hasn't forgot that exchange from 5 years ago