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Moran sings McDonald’s praises

Sport

STARS IN HIS EYESAndy Moran is pictured at the launch of the Club Stars awards recently. Proceeds from the night are being donated to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Interview

Ger Flanagan

IMAGINE a Mayo team with Ciaran McDonald in his pomp at centre-forward and the Andy Moran of 2017 in the full-forward line?
It’s one of the few regrets that the former Footballer of the Year has after his stellar inter-county career ended; that he didn’t get a chance to feed off those trademark ‘outside of the left’ deliveries from McD.
“People have asked me if I would have retired if I knew Ciaran Mc was coming back [as a Mayo selector],” Andy Moran told The Mayo News Football Podcast last week. “I probably still would have, but it would have definitely put a question mark over it because I idolised the man for so long.
“The mercurial talent that he had, in terms of things he could do on the pitch. I always thought he could see the picture of what was happening before it actually happened.
“People say, ‘do you have any regrets?’ One of my regrets is that I wasn’t on the wavelength he was at the time he was at his best. “I’m going to say Ciaran’s best was 2004 and 2005, a bit of 2006, but for those two years he was on a different planet,” said Moran.
“I would have just loved to have played in the inside line, when he was outside at eleven.”
News of the Crossmolina man’s addition to the coaching staff of James Horan’s Mayo senior squad has raised excitement levels within the county.
Andy Moran has heard very positives things about McDonald’s coaching work with the Mayo underage Academy squads. However, he believes that McDonald’s addition to the senior squad will have a major impact on the elder statesmen in the group who may need a lift.
“It’s a great move by James [Horan],” said the Ballaghaderreen native. “People will say that he can teach the young forwards, but I do believe that the older players need a boost too.
“I do believe the likes of Boyler [Colm Boyle], Keith Higgins, Aidan O’Shea, Leeroy [Keegan], all these guys that are still involved and they need a good lift.
“When you see a person of Ciaran McDonald’s presence, what he’s achieved in the game, and the way he likes to play. . When he walks into a dressing room, it will definitely give them a lift.”
The two-time All Star winner also believes that McDonald’s arrival will add another dimension to the coaching staff; in particular for James Burke, who he said has done an ‘outrageous job’ in his first year.
“I think he will bring a new vision to the game, an emphasis on kicking and where the inside forwards need to be moving,” he said. “The reports we get of him being involved in underage teams is very positive and hopefully he’ll bring that positivity to the group… and to the coaching staff.
“If you look at the coaching staff, the likes of James Burke, who did an outrageous job with us last year, it was his first year, he played with an awful lot of us. .
“Hopefully, Ciaran will give him another set of eyes and he just gets involved in the whole coaching structure and helps the process moving on.”

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