The sun rises on a cold January morning at the heart of Dublin. A hospital is taking care of patients as they come and go through their everyday lives. Later that day, a hero of our time is born.
A warm handshake is accompanied by a happy greeting and a smile that could make even David Cameron smile after an action packed referendum night in Britain. We at the Potku Chronicle had the privilege of catching up with ever on the move Ronan Browne to talk about the man You chose as Harjun Potku´s fan favourite. You can find out more about the man who has become synonymous with passion, dedication and growing old graciously in the following in-depth look on the life and times of our beloved Ronan.
As you know, in the biggest election of the past year Ronan was deemed the most popular Potku player of our time. In fact it seems that Ronan was popular on all continents. When asked about the secret behind his universal popularity “Ronnie” chose to be humble in stating:
“I guess a lot of people from all over the world who voted me may have known that this is my last chance to win something. So I played the sympathy vote. I played it well.”
In an exciting two-horse race Ronan managed to edge out Harjun Potku star Ossi Välimäki by just three votes. While there is no doubting that Ronnie most certainly was the more sympathetic candidate, much of the result was reportedly down to Ossi being unsuccessful in activating female teenagers on election day. The pair is not new to competing for attention at the club. Ronnie took his time to answer but seemed to be gracious in victory when asked for a couple words on his younger rival, maybe sacrificing team spirit before the truth:
“When I thought of who was going to be like the fans favourite I thought that Ossi was going to win because he would definitely get the female vote out there and maybe especially that younger demographic specifically. I really went for the one more year thing and I guess it worked in the end. “
“You chose your strategy well.”
“Yeah, it was really close. Me and Ossi have done this before since we shared the player of the year award previously in the same year in 2014.”
“It seems like you´ve got one over him at the moment. Is there any bad blood between you two?”
“No no. We had a wrestling match on the (end of season) cruise and that sorted everything out.”
“Suppose you won that too?”
“Yeah I won that too. Though I think it´s only fair mentioning that he was laughing too hard to fight back.”
It seemed like for the moment there are no immediate threats to team chemistry but for safety´s sake we move on to focus on the man of the year. Just who is the mystery man behind that glorious smile? What made Ronan Ronan? How did he turn out so likeable? Could this growth process be replicated to save Riku Peitsaho´s (#11) offspring?
“A big question. Well I was born in Dublin and I lived there for maybe the first five years before moving to a whole different area. Certainly when I became conscious of friends and had to do it all over again made me a bit more flexible with people and more understanding. And then somewhere along the way football became really important − I would be out all day playing football and everyone knew if they wanted to play football I would play with them. No matter what, rain, snow… We would be out there. And sometimes just on my own. It has happened everywhere: school, university, work, Finland, everything. I´m not saying that because I´m such a great player. I think I give a lot of my personality in how we play, I give everything and I´m honest. People react to that. So it has been a big part of my life.”
Ronan is leaving his mark on Jyväskylä.
Indeed we at Harjun Potku are blessed to be able to clarify that. It does seem like whether it be on or off the pitch with Ronnie it is what see that you really get. At Harjun Potku Ronan has always been considered one of the more experienced members; A role model for younger players, something to look up to. But how would he describe a teenage Ronan´s go-to outfit and past time on a nice Saturday evening in Dublin?
“Well, it was the 90´s and due to crushing self-confidence problems of every teenager I wanted to go with the crowd. At least in my school there were two possibilities: there would´ve been this Nirvana led grunge rock scene so it would´ve meant clothes that go with that. But then there was this Prodigy led rave scene and I was at the crossroads looking which way I should go. I went to the baggy jeans and baggy clothes look and anything else that kind of goes with that rave stuff.”
We see. Despite Ronan´s clarifications of him being always being quite grounded we can only assume that under that sea of calmness and maturity lies a monstrous raveanimal waiting for its time to surface. Now moving on to what can only be seen a major turning point in our favourite superstars life: in 2010 Ronnie decided to turn down Roy Hodgson´s Liverpool F.C and his childhood dream and later chose to continue his career in Finland at Harjun Potku. For many this would´ve been difficult choice but our Mr. Determination here makes it seem like choosing between David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson. Just how did Ronan accommodate himself to his new surroundings?
“Well obviously the chance to play under Roy Hodgson at Liverpool was nothing compared to the chance to play under Mikko Tarvainen at Harjun Potku. I knew that he would help me develop as a player and as a person.
Looking back I see it was quite difficult in the first couple years even though I didn´t think so at the time. I wouldn´t say I was lonely but it is easy to make acquaintances but difficult to make friends. It takes time. But then that´s where Potku made a big difference to me. Not just making such wonderful friends, which I have, but seeing people two or three times a week and being part of something together. As I said before, this has been a common theme all through my life.”
It is no wonder Ronan gives so much to the game and the shirt he wears. Moving on to football where Ronnie has undoubtedly gained the adulation of most of his voters. The irresistible Irishman is renowned for his aggressive intercepting and delicate through balls. One voter described him by these words: “(He) builds and destroys tirelessly, with a beard he is a bit like Alonso except a foot shorter and ten years older.” But how would Ronan describe a perfect football match in his ideal world for his fans across the globe?
“I guess I´m a traditionalist in that sense. I would want the game to be played in horrible conditions. Really bad rain and a grass pitch that’s really muddy… players make lots of mistakes but it´s really intense. And lots of goals but that to me is football at it´s purest. I mean I like playing football on an astro pitch but I feel like it´s too even, it´s too level. The conditions should have an impact. All my life playing in Ireland every pitch that you go to is a new experience. Sometimes they are in the middle of this housing estate and all houses are around and it´s just a piece of thin grass. And those kind of places can be intimidating to go to because the neighborhood kids are out and they throw stuff at you when you are the opposition team, in Dublin leagues especially. Home advantage plays a bigger role.”
Well, it seems even judging from this interview that Ronan does have the gift of expressing himself both verbally and artistically. But in order to get in touch with his deepest thoughts and desires for the fans to see we have designed a game for him. We will be asking simple questions from Ronan and he´ll answer on first impulse. An example of such question might be: a banana or an apple? The main man seems to be excited as he closes his eyes and so we start playing. Are you ready, yes or no?
1.Liverpool or Celtic?
2. Short ball or long ball?
3. Ancient or retro?
4. Behind or in front of the camera?
5. Jyväskylä or Dublin?
6. Pub or a club?
7. Offense or defense?
8. First or second half?
9. Jackie or Tarvainen?
10. Hagos or Miikka “Engine” Huisko?
11. Is this your final year at Potku?
Umm, lets see!
It seems Harjun Potku is yet to see a news update without controversy. As for whether a leading figure like Ronan taking such a clear stand on Potku´s two-coach policy will be affecting the team, the upcoming season or at least force a reaction from club president Eki “Anger” Pesonen we recommend you follow our Facebook closely in the future. For the time being it seems though like we are running out of time with ever the busy Ronan here. It really is no wonder why you are fan favourite. As for the fans, you´ll surely get more of our #10 during the upcoming season as he will be the face of Harjun Potku in the media for 2017. Any words for the fans across the globe for now?
“My only thing would be that the last game that we had (last season) when we had that big crowd… it means a huge amount to us as players. I think that was one of our best performances of the season and I think having our friends and family watching us makes a big difference. I hope that people come and see us more. We notice you, you being there and we appreciate it.”
Truly an inspiration the man. A true leader of men. As we leave our tearing up Ronan to his duties we feel as if we´ve been touched by greatness. Could this man really quit football – or could football really quit this man? Do not take a chance as this might finally be the final year you can follow Harjun Potku´s heroic journey to greatness in the upcoming season alongside journeyman Ronan Browne and follow us, be it online or on the sidelines.