# Close Calls
'I've to eat some humble pie. I was calling for Andy to be used off the bench all year'
Billy Joe Padden discussed Moran’s return to prominence on Close Calls today. / YouTube

FORMER MAYO FOOTBALLER Billy Joe Padden has admitted Andy Moran’s performances have proved him wrong this summer.

At 33, Moran heads into Sunday’s All-Ireland final as Mayo’s front-runner to win Footballer of the Year.

Padden, who joined Gavan Casey and Fintan O’Toole for another episode of Close Calls with Eirsport this evening, spoke about the infectious attitude Andy Moran brought to training.

“I’ve to eat some humble pie here,” said Padden. “I was a pundit that was calling for Andy to be used off the bench all year because I just didn’t think we would see 70 minute performances in him like we have in the last three rounds of the championship.

“But it doesn’t surprise me knowing Andy, because he’s such an infectious character. He absolutely adores being an inter-county footballer, he looks after himself really well. He walks into every training session in absolute great form, looking forward to train. You’re always going to improve when you have that mindset.

“When I was playing with him he used to annoy me with his good humour all the time when I was dreading training.”

Andy Moran celebrates scoring his sides second goal James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Padden also described how Moran has adapted over the years and become a more effective player in front of the posts for the county in his twilight years.

“The most impressive thing about his return to form is he’s changed his game,” he continued. “Andy’s game in the past was about outworking guys – winning the ball 40 yards out in front and running into the corners, taking on his man, being able to beat him and working it in to take a score. That’s not viable for Andy anymore.

“He’s not winning those 40 metre races out to get the ball, he’s doing his best work in and around the D , his short, sharp turns. He’s changed the way he’s winning ball and it’s more effective for his game because he’s spending more time in and around the D. And you see how good a footballer he is, his awareness and he can clip a point off both feet or work a goal.”

Watch the full show below: / YouTube

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