THE SIDELINE VIEW Andy Moran of Mayo looks on shortly before being introduced during the second half of last year’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Dublin at Croke Park. Pic: Sportsfile
FORMER Mayo star Andy Moran says coming out of retirement to play in the shortened inter-county season which restarts next weekend ‘wasn’t a runner’ for him.
The 2017 Footballer of the Year announced his retirement from inter-county level last August after playing with Mayo for 15 seasons.
However, despite continuing to play club football with Ballaghaderreen this year, Moran, who turns 37 next month, said he didn’t consider making a u-turn on his decision to retire from Mayo duty.
Although he did hear plenty of Mayo supporters talking about the prospect!
“There was a lot of people coming into the gym, saying to me, ‘Jeez, if James [Horan] rang you. . .’ “But to be honest, it would not be a runner for me,” he told The Mayo News.
“I haven’t lifted a weight in 12 months. “I wouldn’t be fit to wag,” he laughed.
“It’s like everything, you need to build up. You need to do the work away from it. Me personally, and I would have often said this, I wouldn’t have been the most talented player in the world. A lot of my thing would have been thinking, lifting weights, being good at the stuff that I don’t do well, and really practicing at home. And when I did that I was good.
“You just can’t think you can come in and play. That wouldn’t be me. I couldn’t do it. The level of running in there... I think it’s a scary prospect for anyone.”
On the subject of Mayo’s prospects of avoiding relegation from Division 1 of the National League, or making an impact in the upcoming championship, Andy Moran believes that James Horan has some big decisions to make.
“National League or championship? “It’s the big question everyone is asking.
“And it’s funny having the conversation with guys outside the the squad, because I’ve always been in it [the squad]!
“Does James [Horan] stick or twist at this stage? Does he stick with the older, more experienced guys? Or does he twist and go with the younger, more inexperienced guys?
“But there is fair talent there. It’s a really tough one. I wouldn’t like to be in that situation if I was James, being honest.
“The big game game for me is the league game against Galway. We don’t want to read too much into it, I don’t think the result really matters. But I think the performance is absolutely key to me.
“I think if we perform well, even if we lose narrowly or win narrowly. I think the performance is key because that will do a lot to give you great confidence going into the last game against Tyrone, and great confidence going into the next few games.
“If we lost that [Galway] game and performed well, it gives you a thing to say, ‘Right we’re not too far away here’. ‘What do we need to work on?’ ‘How can we build on it?’ ‘How can we turn this come championship?’
“So I think it’s a really big game, and something I’m really excited about.”
Unfortunately, like the rest of Mayo’s supporters, Moran will have to make do with watching their upcoming games on television. But the prospect of football just being played in the first place is enough to get him excited again.
“To be honest, I didn’t realise I miss it so much. It’s crazy,” he admitted. “I just can’t wait. It’s going to be great to get back to a tiny bit of normality. I’m delighted it’s going ahead, of course.
“That’s being a tiny bit selfish from my point of view because we love GAA, but I’m just excited. The Mayo team is exciting again, there’s new players coming in. Who is James going to pick? Who is he not going to pick? That chat, to be going again, is great!”