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Mon, May
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Andy a big fan of Oisin Mullin’s work

Sport

MAN OF MANY TALENTS Oisin Mullin is pictured in action for Mayo against Galway in the 2019 Connacht Under-20 championship. Pic: Sportsfile

Interview
Mike Finnerty

IF Oisin Mullin does decide to sign a contract with an Australian Rules club and make the move Down Under, he will be ‘a massive loss’ to Mayo football.
That’s according to Andy Moran, who saw the young Kilmaine star at close quarters earlier this year as coach of the Mayo Under-20 team that lost to Galway in the Connacht championship.
Moran is a big fan of Mullin, who was due to travel to Australia next month to meet representatives of at least one AFL club and mull over an offer to sign a contract.
However, with the ongoing health crisis affecting countries all over the world, including Australia, Mullin’s planned trip to take a closer look at what’s on offer is up in the air.
That means everyone from James Horan to ordinary Mayo supporters are waiting on tenterhooks to see what the NUI Galway student decides to do in terms of his short-term future plans.
Andy Moran is no different.
“As a selfish coach within the Mayo system you want Oisin to stay in Ireland and play with Mayo,” admitted the former Footballer of the Year.
“But considering how many people now travel all over the world to work, it’s hard to blame a young fella for wanting to go to Australia and play professional sport!
“There’s no point in dressing it up, there’s a good chance that he will go to Australia, impress a club over there, and be signed. If that happens, he will be a massive loss to Mayo football.
“Oisin only just turned 20 and he’s playing senior inter-county football and marking the likes of David Clifford and Conor McManus,” continued Moran. “I actually thought he was outstanding on Clifford against Kerry a few weeks ago.
“Working with him with the Under-20s, and watching him with Kilmaine and the Mayo seniors, I think his physicality is his greatest attribute. He has all the skills, the speed and the athleticism, but he gets to the pitch of the ball every time.
“I gather he’s the youngest of a fairly big family so I’m sure he was always fighting and sticking up for himself growing up. That sort of thing hardens you up.
“He’s a great person too.
“Oisin came back to us [the Mayo Under-20s] from the seniors the week before the Galway game and there were no airs or graces. He just wanted to know what we wanted him to do to help the team.
“That’s another thing I’ve found with him, he’s a great team-mate.
“There’s no doubt that this is a great opportunity for Oisin and I’ll wish him all the very best in whatever he decides. But if he does decide to stay in Mayo then we’ll provide him with the best of everything he needs to become a better Gaelic footballer.”
Andy Moran remains a close friend of fellow Ballaghaderreen GAA clubman, Pearce Hanley, who has carved out a very successful career in the AFL, initally with the Brisbane Lions and now with the Gold Coast Suns.
Hanley lined out with Mayo in the 2007 All-Ireland senior championship before signing with Brisbane and never wore the Green and Red of Mayo again.
Moran feels that Hanley’s loss would be similar to Mullin’s were he to leave for Australia later this year.
“Pearce Hanley was the best footballer we ever produced in Ballaghaderreen in my lifetime —and there have been some very good ones! Guys like Noel Durkin, Kevin Cahill and Dermot Flanagan spring to mind. Pearce played under-21 for us from when he was 15!
“For someone like Oisin to be able to go and play senior football for Mayo when he was only 19 is a remarkable achievement. Who does that?
“Aidan O’Shea? Cillian O’Connor? There aren’t too many others.
“I’d call those guys ‘generational players’ and there’s no doubt that Oisin can be one of them.”

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