Just like every other year, there will be an abundance of football taking place over Christmas, but many do not realise the toll that Christmas football can take on players.
To shed some light on the topic, Mick and Mark spoke to former Ireland international Kevin Doyle on episode 19 of The Build Up this week and asked him about his experience in playing football over Christmas.
Kevin spoke of his first Christmas in England. He was not used to playing over the festive period as had come from the League Of Ireland:
I’d have been used to having Christmas off playing League Of Ireland, you know summer soccer and then moving to England at 20,21 and spending Christmas morning on a bus to go to some hotel up the country somewhere, being really depressed about it.
As depressing as it may sound, it’s a good atmosphere training on Christmas morning.
It’s like anything, you get used to it, it becomes your way of life and there’s no point in being depressed about it because you just had to do it and you try make the most of it. I think most of the players it puts a smile on their faces.
The manager always seems to have a smile on his face and the staff around the place.
"It’s a different atmosphere a game on Stephen’s Day - happy, jolly atmosphere, everyone’s out - it’s great in the ground, seems to be a bit less pressure, a bit more joy in the air.
"The staff and the players don’t mind the Christmas games, once you’re used to you get the first year or two out of the way and it becomes the norm it’s not an issue.
"I always really enjoyed the matches all over Christmas."
Picture credit: Sportsfile