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Respect from the capital for playing feats of Moran and forecast of a sideline career with Mayo

Dublin’s Barry Cahill on the impact made by the Mayo attacker who has retired.

Andy Moran's last appearance for Mayo came in the recent loss to Dublin.
Andy Moran's last appearance for Mayo came in the recent loss to Dublin.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

ANDY MORAN WAS synonymous with the pulsating modern clashes that have unfolded between Mayo and Dublin.

Stretching back to 2006 when his second-half goal ignited a remarkable semi-final comeback win for Mayo to the series of gut-wrenching losses they suffered more recently in riveting encounters with Dublin.

His final outing came as a second-half substitute in the recent last four All-Ireland tie, that defeat preceding his retirement revelation in an interview on Second Captains’ The Player’s Chair podcast with Richie Sadlier.

Barry Cahill saw Moran in action up close as an opponent during his Dublin days and watched his prominent role in the battles of late.

He feels the absence of an All-Ireland senior medal will not devalue the legacy of Moran’s career and predicts he’ll be back involved in the Mayo ranks in a sideline role.

“When you look at 2012, when he did his cruciate, he’d a number of years already under his belt. People would have felt that his career was on the way out after that. He completely refocused himself, reinvented himself as well as a footballer, moving into the inside line.

“I would have marked him when I was a half-back and even when I was a half-forward, I would have played against him when he was playing in that role as a wing-back or a wing-forward. He was always a handful.

“When he went into that inside line, he was just so clever with his movement, he was so efficient with the ball in terms of laying it off to the better man or actually taking on the score himself. That commitment of 15, 16, 17 years is just off the charts for a modern day inter-county footballer.

“He’s had a fantastic career. I know he didn’t get to reach his ultimate goal of trying to win an All-Ireland. His legacy in the game is that he will be spoken about in the same breath as Ciaran McDonald, that type of level, because of what he’s shown over the last number of years – he’s won Footballer of the Year.

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“Also, his leadership qualities, he was captain for a couple of years and a senior member of the squad that tried to drive it on. I wasn’t surprised to hear that he retired. Maybe it’s time for a changing of the guard from a Mayo perspective.

“He’s a committed guy and he has a young family and there’s a work career as well but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back involved with a Mayo team in the not too distant future.”

aib-launch-the-toughest-temptation Barry Cahill was speaking today at the launch of AIB's new short film The Toughest Temptation. Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

Moran’s longevity at the peak of inter-county football will not be easily replicated.

“The one player I have in my head would be Paddy McBrearty who might have that longevity. He came in at 17 or 18 in 2012 and already has eight seasons under his belt.

“Michael Murphy has a number of seasons under his belt as well. They’re getting fewer and fewer. For a player to get to his mid-30s and still be playing inter-county football is serious going. The average age of retirement is coming back to the 30 mark.

“Nowadays, if you do 10 complete years of inter-county football, you need a lot of things to go your way in terms of injuries, form and outside distractions.”

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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