Highlights on Off The Ball

10:00 AM-01:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball

'I can go for a pint with no-one staring!' | Andy Moran & Johnny Doyle on club careers

Andy Moran and Johnny Doyle joined Off The Ball this evening after a return to club action, for a...

'I can go for a pint with no-o...

'I can go for a pint with no-one staring!' | Andy Moran & Johnny Doyle on club careers

Andy Moran and Johnny Doyle joined Off The Ball this evening after a return to club action, for a look at club and county concerns.

Alongside this, Moran gave us an insight into the inside-forward position, as two elder statesmen of the GAA looked back on colourful careers.

Andy Moran on the changing nature of inside-forward

Andy Moran spoke about the changing role of the inside-forward in football, and over the course of his career with Mayo and Ballaghaderreen.

Moran also railed against perceived slights against football.

"When people talk about football being in a bad state, I look at the likes of Bernard Brogan, Conor McManus, Kieran Donaghy, Gooch - all these guys - we are seeing some of the best players to have played the game. I wonder if they are watching the same game.

"In terms of how the game has changed, I think that the evolution of sweeper and double-sweeper [has changed things.]

"Now that there is a sweeper in, you always have someone defending from the strong side and you have to come up with a different way of winning the ball. That might be coming on the loop, a double run, or a treble run. It just moves slightly with [time.]

"In 2006, we had Donaghy going long with the ball and taking out the sweeper, and then you had teams just playing in the channels, looking for different ways around it.

"Me and Johnny probably thought a little bit more about the game, particularly myself because I was a slower player. I had to think about how best we could get the ball, who is on the ball, and how best are we going to kick it.

"It depends on how you play, how you want your team to be moving. It is all systems-based now and dependent on how the manager wants you to play."

Johnny Doyle on the joys of being retired from county

Former Kildare and Allenwood man Johnny Doyle gave his insights into the beauty of being away from inter-county action.

"The hardest thing that hits you is when you remove yourself from the WhatsApp group, it hits you like a bolt of lightning that you're gone. Inter-county football, you're in a bubble.

"Your family and work take second-place, everything that you do is geared is about making Kildare better. It is like someone switching off a light switch when it's all over, and it can be difficult.

"I was 36 when I left, and the fire had burned out in me. The lads like Dermot Earley and Eamonn Sweeney had moved on and the dressing room had changed. I went back, but my heart wasn't really in it, so the time was right for me. I didn't leave with any animosity."

How does demobilisation work, then, for a man so steeped in Kildare history?

"You get back into civilian life and you just move in different circles. I have a young family, that takes time, and I got back into the club. Suddenly, you are spending more time with the club lads that you wouldn't see as much.

"Even this was a big thing: if I wanted to go for a pint on a Saturday night, I didn't have to look around me - I could go! At 36, people think you're mad but you didn't feel guilty! Little things like that, I certainly didn't miss it.

"When I finished, it was the right time for me to finish. Yes, you miss the days in Croke Park. But do I miss the slop and dirt of winter football? Absolutely no way."

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

Read more about

Andy Moran Johnny Doyle Kildare Mayo