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Corduff back on Cill Chomáin bus

Sport

READY FOR ROAD Cill Chomáin footballer Michael Corduff  is pictured at the Corduff Travel HQ in Castlebar. Pic: Conor McKeown

Interview
Michael Gallagher

LIFE sometimes gets in the way of football, but the pull of home, the desire to wear the club crest on the chest, and the love of family never dies.
On Saturday next, Michael Corduff will pull on the Cill Chomáin jersey and run out with his brother, Joe, and their friends and neighbours for the County Junior Final in Crossmolina — nine years after he stepped away from football to concentrate on the family’s well-known business, Corduff Travel.
“Life, work and building the business took over after minor grade and I just hadn’t time for it,” Michael told The Mayo News. “But lockdown changed everything and the brother kept at me, asking me to come back and play, and now we’re in a county final!
“I’m not saying I had much to do with us getting to a county final, but just to be involved in the group is very special,” explained the Rossport native.
Michael’s brother, Joe, has been a central figure in the Erris team’s drive to Saturday’s decider and it was his persuasive influence which helped convince his sibling to come back into the fold again last November.
“Lockdown changed everything. The buses stopped running and I suppose we all reassessed where we were at in life. Joe was always trying to get me back playing again and even though training is a three-hour round trip from my house in Turlough, I decided to give it a go.
“It took me a little while to get back in the swing of things but I’m absolutely loving it now. There’s a great group of people involved and it’s hugely enjoyable,” added the transport executive.
Michael’s day job involves the operation and development of his family’s bus service and he also drove the Mayo senior team bus to three All-Ireland senior finals — not a bad way to earn a crust!
“I was driver in the Stephen Rochford years and then one year with James Horan, so it would have been impossible to play football in those years anyway because of the time that took up,” he explained.
“I loved it and learned so much about sport and business too. Eoin Rochford, Stephen’s brother looked after the logistics and we worked very well together. The planning, attention to detail and delivery was amazing and we worked together to achieve the best outcomes all the time.
“Eoin brought his military background to the job, and because transport is so important to the army, it became hugely important to the Mayo group too and I learned a lot from him.
“Of course, I loved being around the footballers too and I always had it in the head that I’d like to play again for the club if I ever got the chance. I suppose the love of playing never goes away and when the opportunity came it didn’t take a lot to convince me to go back.”
On Saturday next, Cill Chomáin will look to power their way to the county title.
 They will send out a squad of friends, family and very fine footballers to take on Kilmeena, aiming to bring the Pete McDonnell Cup over the road for the first time since 2013.
Among them will be the man who regularly ferried Mayo to Croke Park on the greatest days in Irish sport — Michael Corduff, who’s hoping the Erris men have an extra passenger in the cargo when they turn right out of the pitch following the final whistle.
There’s nobody more qualified to carry silverware than the man with the plan.

3011 MPU

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