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"It's kind of sad if Roy thinks medals make you" - Damien Delaney

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

04:53 19 Sep 2019

Is silverware the sole factor when defining a successful football career? That is a question that has been asked ever since Roy Keane's jabs at Jonathan Walters last month.

Keane, speaking about his former player at the Off The Ball Cadbury roadshow, went on a tirade against Walters and what Keane viewed as his over-excessive media work considering, Keane felt, Walters hadn't had a good career.

"Imagine if he had a good career. Imagine if he won a trophy," the former Ireland assistant said.

In studio on Wednesday for The Football Show, former Premier League player and Ireland international Damien Delaney was asked whether he has reflected on his own career, discussing Keane's interpretation of what makes a good career in the process.

"I don’t really [think about it] to be honest. Maybe it’s still a bit raw for me at the minute," the former Crystal Palace defender said of his own career.

"It’s hard to understand where Roy is coming from. If he judges somebody's ability to have an opinion on how many medals you have, does that mean that that's a measure of the man you are?

"That's kind of sad if Roy thinks medals make you what you are."

While Delaney admitted you can define a football career in a multitude of ways, what he valued was work-ethic and maximising your own talents.

"For me, it's always, did you give everything that you had? Did you leave it all out there? And whether you won 50 medals, made 'x' amount of money or only made it as far as local level football, as long as you maximised your potential and you did everything you could do.

"I don't think that's anything you could level at Jon. I’ve known Jon since I was 19 years of age, he came on loan to Hull when we were kids. He was one of the fittest human beings I've ever come across in football.

"And every day he tried so, so hard and he worked so hard. He is a very good professional, a very good teammate and someone that you were happy to have in your team."

Adding that Keane's description of Walters was unfair, Delaney explained that interpreting the success of a career was about understanding context. For some clubs, avoiding relegation is success. For others, only one trophy is failure.

"Trophies are won by teams, it'd be like me asking Roy why he never won an international medal," Delaney proposed, "because he was never in a team that was never going to win one."

"Jon played in teams that he was never going to win a trophy with. But as long as you gave your best, whether that's making it to Manchester United or the Munster Senior League or League of Ireland.

"I got a couple of promotion medals maybe I could put them on the table and have a conversation with Roy then", Delaney quipped.

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