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HEARD the one about the League of Ireland ace who blagged a job driving a huge $100,000 truck in an Australian coalmine without a driving licence? Ahead of tomorrow's FAI Cup final, Drogheda United's Mick Daly throws his head back and laughs: "When I was leaving, I told them and they nearly killed me."

After spells with Louth rivals Dundalk and Drogheda, the former Manchester City youth ace followed the legions of Irish youngsters on an Australian adventure.

He played ball with Manly United, a team based in northern Sydney in the New South Wales League and, through a friend, landed a day job in the mines that proved a great earner.

"It was such a hard job to get," said Daly. "I was there for three or four months. I didn't have a driver's licence but a friend got me in and I just told them I had the licence. They gave me a job driving a $100,000 ute to and from the petrol station. We were building roads between the mines and had huge machinery that you couldn't have running out of petrol so it was my job to stock them up.

"It was 50 kilometres from the building site to the petrol station so I'd just drive the 50k, fill up with petrol and drive the 50k back all day long. Just me and my iPod, up and down in this huge ute with a trailer attached. If they knew I hadn't a driver's licence! I had a provisional Irish licence but it had run out. As part of my induction they said, 'Show us your licence' but I'd say, 'I left it in my room, I'll show you tomorrow'... and tomorrow never came.

"They were probably thinking, 'Yeah, Irish gobs****' but these gobs***** gave me the keys to a $100,000 ute and when I told them when I left they nearly killed me."

Daly admits the job itself wasn't particularly exciting but the money more than compensated - and he would probably still be there were it not for his visa expiring.

He always knew it would be short-term work and since returning to Ireland, Daly has immersed himself in football again having gone back to Drogheda when at first it looked like he would sign for Limerick or Bohemians.

And on Monday morning, the 24-year-old branches into a new line of business when he wh we he me the keys of opens his own gym in Dublin called Anatomic Fitness Castleknock. Drogs team-mate Declan O'Brien - himself a gym owner - introduced Daly to the fitness industry with a job on his return from Oz and it was there that the seeds were sewn for opening a place of his own.

"When I first came home it was tough to get a job but I'm loving it now and myself and a partner are opening up on Monday," he said.

"But I mightn't be too sober if we win the cup so he can do the morning and I'll do the afternoon."

he he They gave me the keys of this $100,000 ute and when I told them about the licence as I left they nearly killed me


FINAL-BOUND Mick Daly, right, with team-mate Gavin Brennan
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2013

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