Most young footballers would have given up on their professional goals after losing their jobs three times in one year, but not Conor Shaughnessy.
In the summer of 2016, an Irishman far from home who had been turned down by Reading, Millwall, and Sheffield United agonized over where his dream was going.

The center defender eventually found himself at Elland Road, a development that reflected his lifelong strong will to succeed and refusal to accept failures.

The former Reading apprentice’s comeback was really orchestrated by Leeds, who signed him in September 2016 after a trial and allowed him to make 15 appearances while gaining a foothold in the Football League.

Shaughnessy is currently at Fratton Park and has had an impressive start to life on the south coast, keeping four clean sheets in his first five League One games.

I am now 27 and have been playing for 11 years; it has never been easy, he told The News.

Shaughnessy: The Ideal Place For Me - News - Portsmouth

Football has a lot more lows than highs, but the highs always outnumber the lows in magnitude.

You only need to be aware that anything might happen at any time and that another high is not far off.Since I’ve experienced many setbacks since I was young, it definitely helps to realize that worse things have happened before when they do now. I’ve learned how to handle it now.

I had traveled from Ireland to join Reading, so it came as a bit of a shock when they released me at the age of 20. The genuine reason was not stated. And that was all.

‘I went through three trials in the summer of 2016. I was next headed to Leeds after Millwall rejected me and Sheffield United liked me but had already hired someone to fill my role.

I signed a 12-month deal after spending a week there because they loved what they saw, and I now play for the reserves and under-21s.Talk about a swift career flip around—I was a substitute at Bolton in the Championship in the first game of the following season!

I perhaps first misjudged Leeds, but they are a fantastic club. When I entered Elland Road, I was astounded by the fan base and the excitement around the football team in the city. My dad used to tell me about the golden days of Leeds when they would compete at the highest level in Europe.

As well I know, things can move from being very down to very high, very quickly. ‘I was fortunate enough to eventually secure a four-year agreement and play a few games for them, including appearing under Marcelo Bielsa.

Shaughnessy would join Rochdale in February 2021 after leaving Elland Road on a free transfer.

Before signing a two-year contract to join Fratton Park in June, he played for Burton for two seasons, scoring a total of 62 goals and four goals.

The rejection that comes before the good times is perhaps the aspect of the game that most people don’t perceive, he continued.

When young athletes are released, you often hear them ask themselves, “What am I going to do? I wonder, “Where am I going?”

It probably demonstrates that football is a game of opinions and that there are strategies for regaining an advantage. Just keep going.

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