How do you strike the right balance between being at the top of your career game and a devoted partner, son, and father of two? Easy, says Andrew Hogg, the Malta National Football Team goalkeeper. According to this devoted sportsman and family man, it’s all about communication and teamwork. And, of course, having a good team.
In honour of Fathers’ Day, here are Andrew Hogg’s 5 top tips for working fathers.
Be proud of your roots
Returning to Malta, my home, last year, and then winning the league with Hibs was the pinnacle of my career. Another highlight was playing against England, the country where I was born, at Wembley, in-front of 87,000 people. I was so proud to be Maltese that day, and it was so special to have 17 members of my family and closest friends fly over to watch the match.
Named as the best British player of the match by the UK newspapers was also special. Like playing abroad. My partner Sabrina and I will always have a special place in our hearts for the time we spent in Cyprus and Greece, because this was the time when our girls Alice and Georgie were born, the most precious moments of our lives.
Devote time to your other half and your kids
I am careful to make my job fun for my kids, and not to stop my partner’s career dreams. We all have breakfast together every morning. My partner goes to work and I do the school run before training alone. Then I pick up the kids from school and we all have lunch together before my evening training with the club. Alice is now old enough to stay up to say ‘good night’ when I get home, which is wonderful because I never feel my job takes me away from my kids too much.
My girls have started understanding what I do, and they come to lots of games. They love coming onto the pitch with me wearing their Hogg football shirts. Every time football is on the TV they point and say ‘papa’. And even though they are still little, we love to have kickabouts at home. I don’t mind whether they become footballers or not, as long as they follow their dreams too, and are happy and healthy.
Have the right priorities
I love living and playing in Malta. We have it so good here and get to spend lots of time with our family. My kids are happy, which makes Sabrina and I happy, and that is the most important thing. Although hailing from Sliema originally, we now live in Rabat and run a nail bar there called SBRIII which uses Yellow’s Timify app for bookings.
We know that football won’t last forever, so it’s important that we have other projects to focus on. But with four more years at Hibs I still have many things to achieve – winning the league every season is one of them!
Listen, communicate and work as a team
We are our own little football team of four. But for life to run smoothly, my partner and I have to be organised. We need to stick to our schedule and never sideline each other, especially because I travel a lot. And I never really get a break, even during summer. Champions League starts soon, followed by the start of the local league and the England match at home, in September.
In short, if you communicate well, everything runs like clockwork. It works because we’re a good team.
Follow your dreams
My parents always told me to follow my dreams and choose whatever job I loved. My first love was football, and being a footballer was my dream. So I worked hard to make it happen.
With 54 caps for Malta under his belt and a career which has seen him play for the best local teams including Valletta and now Hibs, plus top-league football in both Cyprus and Greece, it’s undeniable that Hoggie, as his fans call him, has conquered his dream.
Is the father in your life an aspiring football star? Or in other words, does he enjoy practicing football or any other form of sports? If the answer is YES, you can definitely find something special for him on Yellow (especially if you haven’t found him a gift for Father’s Day yet!).
Happy Father’s Day to all the hard working dads out there!