In the first of our regular interviews with past and present GAA legends, We had the pleasure of catching up with the experienced and dynamic Mayo footballing legend and GAA All-Stars Footballer of the Year for 2017, Andy Moran. The Ballaghaderreen native is married to wife Jennifer and they both have 2 children, daughter, Charlotte and the recent addition to the family, son Ollie. Andy took time out from his busy schedule of training with the Mayo Football squad and running his impressive gym in Castlebar called “The Movement” to answer some quick fire questions we put to him about his footballing career todate.
Q: What do you love most about playing for the Mayo football team?
Andy: I love representing the people of Mayo. The team are the lucky ones. We get to represent the best supporters in the country. Another great thing about playing county football is that you get to play at the highest level possible. Playing with and against the best players in the country is a great way to get the most out of yourself as a footballer
Q: In all your years at playing top flight football, who is the toughest player you have ever played against and why?
Andy: I have played against many great defenders. Two stand out, Karl Lacey (Donegal). Great reader of the game. Great defender and was very dangerous in attack.
The second player is Sean Marty Lockhard (Derry). I marked him in 2007. He was an experienced defender and I was a young forward. It was a great learning curve for me. His strength, the way he attacked the ball and more so his reading of the game was top class.
Q: If you could change any single rule of the current game what would you change and why?
Andy: At present the Ref can move the ball forward 13 metres for players delaying an attack. I would simply change this distance to 50m similar to what they do in Aussie Rules.
Q: What is the single biggest disappointment you have experienced as a player and why?
Andy: My biggest disappointments would come from when I felt the team or me personally didn’t give all we could give on the day. You only get a short window to represent the county and it’s important to really push yourself each day you put on the Jersey. The 2010 season would be a massive disappointment for me.
Q: If you could pick any 3 current players from other counties to play in the current Mayo squad, who would you chose and any why?
Andy: Michael Murphy (Donegal) Skill level is very high. Can play in a number of positions and is a real team player.
Bryan Fenton (Dublin) Athletic, Strong Midfielder who can link back to front very well. Skill level excellent, and reading of the game is second to none.
Ryan McHugh (Donegal) Intelligent, Goalscorer and a player you would pay to watch play the game.
Q: What’s the worst criticism you have received as a player and in your opinion, was it justified?
Andy: I think if you are in the spot light in any form, you can’t be taking criticism from outside sources. If you take the good you have to be willing to deal with the bad so I stay away from that as much as possible. The only criticism that matters is from within the group. Being dropped for big games like versus Roscommon in 2014 was probably the worst I’ve received.
Q: What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you as a football player?
Andy: I have been fortunate enough to play for many years with Mayo where we have had many great trips abroad and played with many comical team mates. Some of the stories over the years would be subject to serious editing so I will have to keep them to myself.
Q: Who would be your top 3 GAA footballers of all time and why?
Andy: In no particular order – Peter Canavan (Tyrone) Ollie Murphy (Meath) Padraig Joyce (Galway) They are all supreme finishers and great ball winners. They could also adapted their style of play later in their careers when they were slowing down to be still important players within their own team’s setup.
Q: You run a successful gym in Castlebar called “The Movement” How do you balance this around your training with the Mayo squad and your private life?
Andy: It is very difficult. Myself and my wife Jennifer have just had our second child so family along with work and football take up most of my time. Time management is crucial for me but also My Team in The Movement are a special group of people and without them none of it would be possible.
Q: What does life hold for Andy Moran when you finish up playing for the Mayo team, Would you like to go into football management, explain?
Andy: I would definitely love to give management/coaching a go. I have a lot to learn about the game and look forward to indulging myself fully in it when I am finished.
Thanks to Andy for giving up his time to chat to GAASTARS.COM and like lots of genuine football fans out there, we are sure that you would all agree that if anyone deserves an All-Ireland Football Medal for his skill, passion and commitment to the game alone, it would beAndy Moran.
We wish Andy and the Mayo team success in this year All-Ireland competition.