Sean McDaid: My new life as a football agent

Sean McDaid and John Ryan
Sean McDaid and John Ryan

Sean McDaid is not your stereotypical football agent. For a start, he’s popular.

It was almost three years ago to the week that the former Doncaster defender was forced to hang up his boots, a knee injury cruelly curtailing a promising playing career at the age of just 25.

McDaid had every right to feel sorry for himself.

But for a man regarded as one of the most genuine and likeable on the football circuit, that just wouldn’t be in his nature - and he’s not about to change either, having now embarked upon a career in consultancy.

“I look after players now for a company called James Grant based in London, but I work in the sports department up here in Yorkshire,” said McDaid on a recent return trip to the Keepmoat Stadium.

“It’s enjoyable. I try and do it the right way, and give players good advice.

“I was only 25 when I retired so I didn’t really know what to do.

“But people started to coming to me asking for advice on certain things.

“Having retired at such an early age I could see the pitfalls of the game, the other side of things if you like, so I thought it was something I could get involved in and it’s gone from there really.

“I was lucky enough to be offered a job with a really good company who want to do things the right way.

“When you’re advising people on football you can get stereotyped, so I was only willing to join someone who did things the right way.

“I’m looking after senior and younger players, managing them through their careers and we’ll look after their contracts.

“From a football perspective it’s about trying to give them the right advice at the right time.

“In football you have very few highs but the highs are amazing. You have a lot more lows normally, and for me it’s about helping the younger players.”

Harrogate-born McDaid made 91 appearances for Doncaster between 2005 and 2010, quickly becoming a popular player on and off the pitch.

Upon his release he joined Carlisle United but after being plagued by a knee problem called time on his career in 2011.

“I’d have loved to have carried on playing and you miss it every single day,” said McDaid, who now regards himself as a Rovers fan.

“But the major thing from my point of view was staying in the game and if I can help people going forward then I think that will do my reputation in this line of work no harm at all.

“If you give people the right advice you can take satisfaction from that.

“Certain players come through at certain clubs and you feel like you’ve helped them.

“At the end of the day it’s the players that have done it. But it’s important to support them and their families - not enough people do that these days.

“People quickly go away when things aren’t going so well, and that’s when you do need the right advice.”

McDaid has laid down his roots in Doncaster. He is also the agent of James Coppinger.

“I’ve still live in Doncaster,” he said.

“I bought a house here when I played here, and when I retired at Carlisle I moved back.

“I basically cover the north for James Grant, representing players from Newcastle down to Birmingham so it’s a good base for me.

“I get to see a lot of Rovers nowadays. I’m a Doncaster Rovers fan now.”