Today The Kitman interviewed Stephen McGuire who’s the kit manager for League of Ireland First Division side Bray Wanderers.
Join us as Stephen shares his experiences and stories of being a kitman below.
1. Who are you Kitman for and how long have you been in the position?
“My Name is Stephen McGuire and I am the Bray Wanderers Kit Manager. I have been the Kit Manager since 2015.”
2. How did you get your current role?
“I was the U19 kitman prior to my current role and when the previous kit men left I was asked to take on the role of 1st team kit manager by the club.”
3. Have you had any previous experience?
4. Is it a role you’ve always wanted to do?
“I always wanted to work in the football industry and this was the perfect way to get involved as I wasn’t a great player.”
5. What are your responsibilities as a Kitman?
“I am responsible for maintaining match kits to a high standard and making sure the players are happy. I also look after pre match meals and hiring of buses for away games.”
6. Do you have a catchup with the opposing Kitman prior to or after kickoff?
“Not really as we are both concentrating on setting up our respective dressing rooms. I would contact a couple of days before the game to confirm kit colours.”
7. Have you had any certain players have special kit requirements?
“Yes some players like to have their socks cut at the bottom so they can wear their own sports socks underneath and some players like to wear under armour.”
8. Do you get any input on the clubs kit designs?
“I have had some input over the years but not all the time.”
9. Do you own any football shirts, if so how many and what’s the most treasured shirt you own?
“I own a few but my favourite has to be a signed Falkirk shirt from a 3 years ago that I got from their kitman prior to a friendly.”
10. Do you get to keep shirts from your club or opponents?
“Yeah a couple of players over the years have let me keep their shirt.”
11. What in your opinion is the best football kit of all time?
“My favourite at the moment is the new bray wanderers shirt but there are too many nice shirts over the years to choose from.”
12. How was your playing career, who did you play for, what position etc.
“I didn’t have any sort of playing career really.”
13. Have you made any errors like, forgot the kit or bought the wrong kit?
“I have never forgotten the match kit thankfully but I we were playing Dundalk in oriel park in 2016 and I forgot the footballs thankfully noel white lent me a few for the warm up. I think we drew that game. I forgot the sock tape for my very first game as senior kit man away to Sligo as well the then general manager managed to get me some in Sligo town that day.”
14. What’s been your proudest moment as a Kitman?
“Seeing the players looking well on the pitch. I would say when the players are happy in what they are wearing they play better and that makes me proud to do my job.”
15. What characteristics do you need to be a Kitman?
“You certainly need to be understanding and be open so the players feel they can come and talk to you about anything.”
16. What’s the funniest kit related story you can tell us that has happened to you or you have witnessed?
“I am sure their are a couple but I can’t think of any right now.”
17. Who does the laundry at home?
“Everyone in the house does their own. It is something my parents drilled into us at a young age.”
18. Finally, why do you love being a Kitman?
“I love football and I am happiest when at work. Bray Wanderers is a great club to be involved with.”
Many thanks to Bray Wanderers and Stephen for making this interview happen. Best of luck for the remainder of the season.