Born and raised in the heart of Dublin, Ian McLoughlin left his family and friends at the age of 18 to join Championship side Ipswich Town.
Now part of Karl Robinson’s MK Dons side, Ian is back in his homeland for pre-season and mkdons.com caught up with him, after completing another fitness session on the beach, to talk about his stay in the Irish capital.
He said: “It’s great to be back in Ireland. It’s good to be home because nine months in England away from your family is a long time.”
Although the trip provides Ian with a chance to visit family, the sole reason for the stay is to prepare for the new season.
It’s a common misconception that goalkeepers get off lightly during pre-season, avoiding the fitness work, but that is far from the truth. However the Dons keeper isn’t fazed and paid tribute to his fellow Irishman, fitness and conditioning coach Damien Doyle, for his help in preparing him for the 2012/13 season.
“I don’t mind the running part but I definitely prefer to be in the goal!
“I am definitely a lot fitter than I was a year ago. I completed my pre-season programme over the summer and did a few bits extra as well but a lot credit has to go to Damo for keeping me on my toes.”
With week one almost done and dusted, Ian has the chance this weekend to spend time with his family and friends before returning on Monday to play in the Dons’ first pre-season friendly of the summer...
The game with St. James Gate will be the first in over two months for most of the squad, but that is not the case for Ian, having played for his national side against Denmark and Italy back in early June.
However, the Under 21 international is still eager to get going and has a few goals in mind going into the matches.
“I’m looking forward to playing here and I’m confident we can get through them with some wins and clean sheets under our belts.
“It’s a good opportunity for my mum and dad to come and see me play and hopefully that makes them proud.”