Seamus Coleman: Choosing soccer over GAA almost felt like "wrong choice at one stage"

Ireland captain chats to Off The Ball

BY Raf Diallo 21:35 Monday 30 January 2017, 21:35 30 Jan 2017

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

At the age of 28, Ireland captain Seamus Coleman probably won't have to think too firmly about his post football career plans for another few years yet.

And when it comes to taking coaching badges, it's a route he describes as "possible" in the future. But as he told Off The Ball, it's very much in the future and not something that he will envisaging any time soon.

But the Everton full back has talked to Ireland team-mates James McClean about it when the latter raised it.

"I had James McClean on the phone texting me asking me was I going to do my badges in the summer. He's talking about doing his," he said, before joking, "But I couldn't bear putting up with him for a week so I'll have to do them on my own".

"It's something that I am interested in. I like football, I like watching football and looking at my own clips. I like that side of it but at the minute, I want to concentrate on playing football. I don't want to get distracted by anything else. I think there will be plenty of time when I'm done to get them done. 

"I know some people say you need to get them done when you're still playing but I'm one of them - when I'm a footballer, I'm fully focused and my whole life revolves around being the best that I can be on Saturday, so I don't want to get distracted by other things really."

Making a choice between football and other paths was something he had to confront in his formative years - namely in relation to Gaelic football in his native Donegal.

"I had a few choices along the way. One of the biggest choices I had to make was at 17-18 was when I had to go either to the Donegal county minors or go to Sligo Rovers. So that was a tough choice for me at the time," Coleman said.

"I probably thought it was the wrong choice at one stage when they got to the All Ireland semi final and I wasn't even being involved with Sligo. In your life you always have choice to make. But it's about making the right choice or sticking to it."

But the choice to go down the soccer route was enabled by the sense that there always a chance that he could resurrect a Gaelic football after two or three years away and not vice versa.

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