The rude reality of Professional sport
SPOTLIGHT: In the midst of the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, a few players have had a rude awakening to how ‘ruthless’ professional sport.
A 25-year-old who was among the three players released by Ulster for the 2020/21 season has taken to Twitter to describe his first-hand experience with the ‘ruthless’ professional sport.
Zack McCall, the younger brother of established prop Kyle, was cut loose by Dan McFarland along with Clive Ross and Angus Kernohan when the Irish province set out its stall for next season.
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The decision left the hooker devastated and he has taken to social media to explain to fans how brutal a brilliant sport can be. “To put things into context for anyone who doesn’t know me: I have dedicated my life to rugby in Ulster. I’ve worn every jersey with pride, worn my heart on my sleeve and tried to give 100 percent even in the darkest of times.
“I want to shine a light for the guys that are on the fringes and remind others it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Professional sport is ruthless and can take its toll on your mental health just as much as your physical health.
“Just remember these guys have aspirations and dreams too so respect the little guy and be kind, not just in rugby but in all aspects on life. And if you are the little guy, back yourself, throw everything at it and have no regrets. That’s what I’m going to do.”
Unlike his brother, McCall never got to feature at PRO14 level for Ulster and it remains to be seen if the former Ireland U20s player will try his luck elsewhere in the pro game now that he has been offloaded by his hometown province.
“Unfortunately my time with Ulster has come to an end. I’ve had some unforgettable experiences, good and bad. The good: getting to travel the world and play competitive teams sport for a loving and to do it with my brother is something I’m incredibly thankful for.
“The bad: dealing with repeated disappointment, from injuries, selections and the massive highs and lows that rugby can take you through. Even though they have been pretty tough at times, these experiences have contributed to making me stronger as a man with physically and mentally.”
— Zack McCall (@SmallMcCall4) May 13, 2020