Athletics

Rory O'Connor '09

O'Connor
“The job is an incredibly unique opportunity to experience the fabric of a top-level European club team on a day-to-day level. I was living in the stadium with the entrance to the field at the end of my hallway with around 20 of the 50 youth players. Simply observing how the club treats and recruits players gave me a vivid peek at how the soccer world actually works in terms of producing top-level players.

My main responsibility was as a “surveillant,” which is basically a nighttime RC. Since I lived in the stadium with some of the players, I had to be there five out of seven nights a week and make sure they were all in their rooms at night. My second responsibility was as an English teacher. Since all the youth players also have to go to school, I helped out the other English teacher and took on some classes. My third responsibility was as the club’s website translator. The club’s website has an English and French version, and I would translate new articles from French to English on a daily basis. I had a lot of free time during the day, which gave me a lot of opportunity to explore the area and do things that I wanted to do. As for the technical aspects, housing was provided, as were all meals. This meant that all expenses were discretionary, which was really nice.
 
One really cool aspect about the experience is that every year the European Super Cup is held in the stadium. This is a match between the winner of the Champions League and the Europa League from the previous year. When I was there, FC Barcelona played against Shakhtar Donetsk. The coolest part was that Eric Abidal and Thierry Henry, two players on Barcelona and the French national team, are former AS Monaco youth players. The night before the game, they came up to the academy and visited. I ended up having about a five-minute conversation with Thierry Henry, which was kind of surreal.

Overall, my experience in Monaco was awesome. The most rewarding aspect of the whole experience for me was living abroad in a foreign culture where, at the beginning, I knew absolutely no one. It was really difficult at first, but the process of becoming nearly fluent in French and integrating myself into the community was extremely rewarding.”