Midfielder Ciaran O'Brien comes from a soccer family, and it's his father, Fran, that sits at the forefront of that tradition. In Part III of our Father's Day series, Ciaran talks about the influence his dad has had on his life, on and off the field.
Tell us a little bit about your father and the relationship you have with him.
“He is very laid back, but also outgoing at the same time. On the field, he was very competitive, but off the field, he is always very relaxed. We have a very good relationship, and we talk everyday. He has been my coach ever since I was little. He hasn’t made it down to Atlanta for a game yet, but we are always in contact.”
Do you and your father have a favorite activity that you often do together?
“We love playing golf together. That’s definitely our favorite thing to do.”
Do you have a favorite experience or memory of something you and your father did in the past?
“When he was the coach of my youth club team, we won our regional tournament and went to nationals. That was pretty special for us since we did it together.”
How supportive has your father been of your career?
“He has always been very supportive of my career and the decisions that I’ve made throughout my life. He has always given me the responsibility to make my own decisions; kind of like when I was thinking about leaving college early. He told me that he would support my decision no matter what.”
How has he influenced your life, on and off the field?
“On the field, he has been very influential. He has always been my coach and because he was a professional player for 15 years, his experience was very important to my development. Off the field, I’m not as laid back as him. I’m much more outgoing then him. When I was younger, we used to challenge each other a lot, and it was hard at times. He was always harder on me than anyone else, but now that I look back on it, it was very good for my career. We used to get into a lot of arguments, but at the end of the day it was what was best for me.”
Has he been able to come to any Silverbacks games to watch you play?
“He has not made it down to Atlanta for a game yet, but it means a lot whenever he has been able to come to my games. It’s always good to play in front of him so he can give me constructive criticism.”
Did he get you into soccer? How did he influence your career as a player?
“Yes, he got me into soccer. He played for 15 years and was my coach, so he was a huge influence on me getting into soccer. He definitely taught me a certain style, and he always made sure to teach me the game and not just skills. He always had soccer on TV, so we would always be watching together. He always taught me a smart style of play that focuses on making the right passes.”
How will you be spending Father’s Day this year?
“We have a game this Father’s Day weekend, so I will probably just give him a call. Usually, we keep it simple and just do brunch and then spend time together as a family.”