ON DUTY Andy Moran is pictured last Saturday evening. Pic: John Corless
FORMER Mayo captain Andy Moran says he ‘absolutely loves’ managing Leitrim and will be hanging up his playing boots once Ballaghaderreen’s interest in this season’s Mayo senior club championship is over.
Speaking to The Mayo News after coming on as a substitute during Ballagh’s defeat to Aghamore last Saturday evening, Moran explained that there are ‘no divided loyalties’ when it comes to managing Leitrim.
“I loved playing for Mayo over the years, it was the biggest achievement of my life, other than my family and the business, but I absolutely love the Leitrim job.
“The people there, the county board, the clubs, the supporters, have all been fantastic.
“But there’s no divided loyalties. When you are a manager on the sideline, you are the manager of that team, that’s your job and away you go and get on with it.
“I have to do the best job I can for Leitrim and if it is against Mayo, so be it. If that day comes where Leitrim face Mayo, while I am still manager of Leitrim, then I’m absolutely a Leitrim man that day.
“My young fella keeps shouting ‘Up Mayo’ and I won’t stop him doing that, but if its Mayo against Leitrim, I’ll be doing my best for Leitrim.”
Andy, who will be 39 in November, is enjoying still being involved as a player with his club.
“This will definitely be my last season as a player. We’ll finish out the season and I’ll concentrate fully on management then. I have had an unbelievably fortunate existence.
“I played for Mayo right up to my 36th birthday. Not many people get to do that.
“I played so many times for them, enjoyed every minute of it and got to play in Croke Park. Of course we wanted the All-Ireland, but unfortunately we didn’t get it. But my time is done now.
“There’s no way ever when I drive by McHale Park, when I see the lights on for training, where I feel I’d want to be in there. Maybe occasionally at Croker, when you see the boys playing, there might be a slight pull, but no, I don’t want to go back to it. I loved my time playing, but I’m really loving my time now coaching and in management.”
The former Footballer of the Year was an interested observer during the recent Mayo manager appointment process, but said he didn’t like some aspects of the way it was done.
“I didn’t like the way the process of selecting a manager, was so public,” he said.
“Their names were out on social media and their proposed backroom teams, it was very public. The good thing that came out of it was that four really good, really passionate, Mayo people, went for the job, and I think any one of them, would have done a really good job.
“I’m delighted to see Stephen Rochford back in again with Kevin (McStay) and I think they will do a really good job. But the recruitment process was way too public.”