LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Anthony Jordan is pictured in action against Louisburgh in the Mayo IFC quarter-final. Pic: Mayo GAA
Moy Davitts’ Anthony Jordan is hoping to make up for lost time
Name: Anthony Jordan
Club: Moy Davitts
Occupation: Head of sales for Squid Loyalty
Did you know? Anthony won a County Intermediate championship medal in 2017.
AS Anthony Jordan chats to The Mayo News outside the dressing rooms in Islandeady minutes after the final whistle of their County Intermediate championship quarter-final win over Louisburgh, Brian Reape walks by and can’t resist the ‘drive-by’.
“More talking than football, hah?” he ball-hops.
Jordan has missed more football than he would like these past two years, but he won’t let his injured team-mate off that easily.
“More talking than football says Brian Reape, and he hasn’t played in two years!” he replies instantly.
It takes one to know one because both men, Reape as captain and Jordan as vice-captain, have endured frustrating spells on the sidelines.
In Islandeady, Jordan was back in action but Reape must watch on for the rest of the year.
In attempting to come back from the dreaded cruciate, he suffered a setback which is likely to sideline him until 2023.
Jordan can feel his pain. He is just back from more than three months out from a syndemosis injury – a rupture of the ligament above the ankle which connects the tibia and the fibula.
He missed 14 weeks last year with hamstring issues.
“It has been a hard road to get back, I’m making the most of this year,” the 29 year-old told The Mayo News.
The jibing aside, the respect he and his team-mates have for Brian Reape is clear.
“Brian is the best forward in the county at this level, so when you lose a player like that it’s obviously a big hole in the team. He is also the captain so you have to do it for him. We did it for Brian Heneghan today too. Sometimes you draw inspiration from your big players being missing and that’s what we did.”
There’s no doubt that winning a quarter-final without Reape, injured wing-back Oisín McHugh, and attacker Brian Heneghan, who was at his sister’s wedding on the day, was quite the statement by Moy Davitts.
Louisburgh were firm favourites to win the match and one of the strong favourites to win the championship outright.
Moy Davitts, after indifferent form in their group, were expected to fall by the wayside. They needed an injury-time free from Cian McHale to beat Castlebar Mitchels B and qualify.
But in Islandeady, they looked every bit a team who had been senior as recent as 2020.
“We didn’t have consistency in the first three games so we kinda have to start from now and we knew that. We knew if we didn’t play well today we were absolutely gone. You don’t half play well against a team like Louisburgh and get out on top.”
They brought a controlled aggression to the game that the West Mayo lads could never quite get to grips with.
Jordan is one of the older players on the team at this stage. He lined out in a forward line where Conor Reid and Cian McHale, who were both on the Mayo Under-20 squad this year, excelled while other young guns stood up too.
“It’s a breath of fresh air when you see someone like that [Reid and McHale]. Cathal Clarke [Under-18 this year] is arguably the best player in the county at his age. Wing-back, an exceptional footballer as well. You’ve John Hughes in there. Tadhg Ruane is probably the most under-rated back you could have. He’s the same age as Conor Reid.
“Conor is a handful, we know what he brings, and Cian doesn’t really miss so we’ve got players of experience and a nice blend of youth as well so we’re in a nice place.”
It’s down to four teams now and Moy Davitts have to be considered firm contenders. But inside their dressing room, it did not take beating Louisburgh to convince them of that.
“We never questioned that we couldn’t go all the way. We always knew we’d get close. We have the quality, we’ve always had the quality, we always feel that we’ve underperformed the last couple of years, sometimes you have to take your opportunities, there are moments in time you have to take. We’re under no illusions, the semi-final is going to be incredibly difficult. Enjoy these days, that’s what you have to do,” said Jordan.
He’s one of their Dublin-based players. He works as head of sales for a tech company, Squid Loyalty, who put your loyalty cards on the one app in your phone. He could probably claim loyalty points himself for continuing to travel and tog for his home club, but it’s clear Moy Davitts means a lot to the man from Toomore.
The club are meeting midweek these days in Westmeath to ensure they can get together as a full group.
“We’ve eejits like me in Dublin so we kinda have to meet halfway up in Westmeath,” he smiled. “We need to and it is nice to get together, just the camaraderie after training, sitting down and having a few sandwiches and having the chat and the craic, it is nice.”
They’ll be hoping to enjoy those sessions for a couple more weeks yet.