Conrad Balatoni happy to have swapped full-time football for contentment at Edinburgh City
Defender content at Citizens after ditching full-time football
Conrad Balatoni admits the contentment he has found at Edinburgh City vindicates his decision to give up on full-time football.
The 29-year-old centre-back opted to join the part-time ranks and kick off a career as a financial advisor in summer 2018 following his departure from Torquay United. Having previously been on the books of Hearts, Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock, it was a big call for Balatoni to make but the way his first 18 months at Edinburgh City have gone has reinforced his belief that he did the right thing.
“I made the decision to go part-time because I felt it was something I was going to have to do anyway sooner rather than later,” he explained.
“At the time I felt it was the best thing for me and my family, and looking back it was the best decision I could have made.
“I’ve set up my own business so that’s taken a lot of thoughts of full-time football off my mind. It doesn’t bother me not playing full-time football any more. I’m happy where I am and it’s a lot more relaxed because I’m only training twice a week so I get more time with the family. I’m thriving with my new business and I’m really looking forward to what the future holds on and off the field.”
Balatoni has no regrets about quitting full-time football aged 27. “I was happy with everything I did in my time as a full-time footballer - I won a league with Partick and played in the Scottish Premiership,” he said. “Not many people get the chance to do that, but there comes a time when you have to step back and look at the bigger picture which is why I dropped down to go part-time with Edinburgh City. In some ways you can enjoy your football a bit more when you’re part-time because although there’s still pressure, it’s not quite as intense. As long as I’m at a good club Edinburgh City, I’ll enjoy my football.”
Balatoni will be at City for a good while longer after recently extending his contract to 2022. “I was really happy to get the contract sorted out,” he said. “I was in a position where I could have waited to the summer to see what options were about but I’m happy where I am, I’m enjoying my football and I’ve got a good relationship with everyone at the club. I really feel the club’s going places and I want to be a part of it. There’s a winning mentality here just now and we’ve got ambitions to go to a higher league.”
City host Stirling Albion tomorrow as they bid to reduce Cove Rangers’ five-point advantage at the top of League Two.