Seamus Coleman to return to the GAA when he retires from professional soccer

The Everton defender says Gaelic football shaped him

BY Sinéad Farrell 09:30 Saturday 19 March 2016, 9:30 19 Mar 2016

Niall Carson / PA Wire/Press Association Images

In the immediate future, Seamus Coleman has various boxes to tick.

Later this afternoon, he has a home Premier League tie with Arsenal to look forward to. At the end of April, he has an FA Cup Semi-Final against an unconfirmed side. And come this summer, he will take up an integral role in Ireland's defense when they begin the group phase of their Euro 2016 campaign.

But at some point, the qualities needed to excel as a professional soccer player will no longer be in his possession and he will have to consider other avenues.

Well, it looks like Seamus Coleman already knows how he will spend his days as a retiree. A native of Donegal, Coleman was once an accomplished Gaelic footballer and he plans to resume his participation in this sport one day.

In fact, according to an interview in the Irish Times today, had Coleman declined the opportunity to play for Sligo Rovers, the Killebegs born man could have been celebrating an All-Ireland victory in 2012 with Donegal rather than going on to sign for a Premier League side. 

In ways though, the ambiance in Everton shares some similarities with the community vibes of a GAA club.

''Everton’s a real family-orientated club and back home the GAA club I’ve been involved with is also like that – close-knit, warm. There are similarities, yeah.''

In addition to his natural affinity with the GAA, Coleman is a self-confessed 'homebird' and he simply wants to spend his golden years in the company of his own people. 

''I’m definitely going home, I’m a homebird. I’ll go back to Killybegs when I finish but I think it’ll be a case of playing for Killybegs GAA and St Catherine’s, the local [soccer] club. I don’t know about the League of Ireland.''

''My Gaelic background and Sligo Rovers – that gave me the will to never give up. I’m always willing to learn. I don’t have the talent of Ross Barkley or Romelu Lukaku but I have determination. That’s my attribute, but there are others in Ireland with different attributes.''

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