Ian Keatley On The Profound Effect Being Booed Had On His Personal Life In Telling Interview

Ian Keatley has opened up about the abuse he has received from a select amount of Munster fans.

The outhalf arrived in at Munster with the daunting task of trying to fill the boots of Ronan O’Gara and unfortunately it hasn’t worked out for the former Connacht star.

Some Munster fans have made their dislike for the playmaker vocal, in the stands and online. In an fantastic piece by Maria Crowe, Keatley has finally opened up about the abuse he has received and the effect it has had on his personal life.

I don’t need people booing me or telling me that I had a bad game, a player knows how he has done. All players go back and scrutinise the game but I understand they are fans who have paid in and are entitled to their opinions. The worst thing was talking to mom on the phone a day or two later, she broke down crying. I said, ‘Look mom, it’s fine, these things happen, I’ll bounce back’.

Keatley revealed that he spoke to sports psychologists, friends, teammates and coaches in an attempt to pick himself off the canvas.

It’s so personal. People will tell you it’s alright; deep down as a player you know yourself it’s not. It’s especially tough when you are trying your hardest. I got tweets saying, ‘Is Keatley not practising his place-kicking’, obviously I couldn’t work harder in training but people don’t see the hours, weeks, months and years that you put in. They just see you having bad moments in a game and judge you on that.

His entire life was affected.

I wasn’t cracking jokes anymore; I wasn’t listening to music, I love listening to music. In the car, on the way in to training I’d have my radio off, I was constantly thinking. Weird things go through your head; I wondered, ‘Why am I putting myself through this?’.

You can read the interview in full here.

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