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Barry Moran on . . .

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BIG MATES Barry Moran (right) and his former Mayo team-mate Aidan O'Shea are pictured the 2017 All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay win over Kerry. Pic: Sportsfile

Barry Moran on…

Best Mayo footballer he played with
WOW! I’m going to say Lee Keegan. He’s phenomenal. I’ve never seen a man like him.
I know everyone sees how good Lee is in matches, but you should see him in training. His feet, his strength, his speed. . And one thing about Lee, you talk about match prep’ — Lee is told he’s going marking someone like Diarmuid Connolly. . He just goes and does it.
There’s no big analysis with Lee. And he’s not just there to mark you, he’s going to hurt you going the other way as well. So I would think at the moment, Lee.
But you’re going to have Cillian [O’Connor], Aidan [O’Shea], Keith [Higgins], Andy [Moran], Jimmy Nallen, Ciaran Mc[Donald], Colm Boyle, Kevin O’Neill. . .
But with Lee it’s just so simple.

Toughest opponent
I WAS lucky enough to play against some very good players, but Aidan [O’Shea] is always a handful. We always seem to end up marking each other in club games, A versus B matches at training, and he’s just such a handful.
He’s all there, he can play ball, and the thing about him is that, if you don’t stop him early, he gets momentum. I’m a big guy, I’m the same weight as him, but it’s going to be hard to stop him. So in a one-versus-one battle, it would have to be Aidan.

Best advice he ever got
IT would probably be that old line about ‘Failing to prepare. . ’
My dad would have drilled that into me when I was younger. He would say if you were going for an exam, and you hadn’t the work done, then there was no point in sitting the exam. It’s the same for the football.
People talk about ‘the process’ but what’s that? It’s ticking the boxes to make sure that you have everything done that you can do. And if you have, then you’re likely to be on the right side of the result.

The best memory from his Mayo career
IT would probably be leaving the team hotel together, going to the All-Ireland Final.
The Saturday and Sunday morning would all be relaxed, and then you’d start your prep. You’d have your team meeting prior to leaving the hotel and when you’d leave, there wouldn’t be a word spoken. Thirty guys walking straight out on to the bus, getting a Garda escort, you could hear a pin drop. And that was the same for every big day.
Single focus going into battle.

Wearing the Mayo jersey
IT’S definitely something that you treasure.
When you start playing football, you always want to play with Mayo. And I was lucky enough to get to pull on the Mayo jersey at every age group the whole way up.
I cherished that. And you realise it even more now when you talk to some of your best friends who would have loved to play for Mayo, but didn’t.
The jersey is something very special. I’ve given away a lot of mine, but I only found out recently that my mother has kept the very special ones.

How he would like to be remembered by Mayo supporters
THAT ‘he wasn’t too bad!’ [laughs]. I’m a realist, I wasn’t the best footballer but I’d like to think people would feel that I gave everything I could, whether it was in a good game or a bad game.

MPU Mayo

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