Andy Moran

Andy Moran

Andy Moran commits to Mayo for 2018

By John Harrington

Andy Moran has confirmed he’ll play for Mayo again in 2018.

The Ballaghaderreen man will turn 34 in November, but is coming off the back of arguably his best season yet for Mayo and has no plans to call it a day any time soon.

“My wife is due her second baby now in January and if everything goes well then, there's no question,” said Moran today after being named PwC Footballer of the Month for August.

“I don't expect anyone from the management or the team to be hanging up their boots anytime soon.

“I think I'm a work in progress. At my age, if you can keep your body healthy and not be getting injured, you've got a huge chance because then you can use your brain and use your other assets over young fellas, stuff that - hopefully - you'd be better than them at.

“If you get injured, on the other side, it could all be over very quickly. You have to be looking after yourself all the time.”

Moran was one of Mayo’s best players in the All-Ireland Final defeat to Dublin, and there was some consternation amongst the county’s supporters that he was subbed off on the 63-minute mark.

It was clear though that his movement had been impinged for some time before his substitution and Moran confirmed today that’s because he pulled his hamstring just seven minutes into the second-half.

“Jason Doherty's goal chance, I hurt my hamstring,” said Moran. “I've never hurt my hamstring before so I didn't realise it was a hamstring. I played on for about 15 minutes but it was probably time to get me off.

“I literally did not know what it was. If I knew what it was, I'd probably have come off. It was probably a blessing that I didn't know what it was.

“I thought it was an impact from Michael Fitzsimons but I got a Grade 1 tear in the back of my hamstring. It just felt like it was a slap against it. I never really had it before. So I didn't know what it was.

“I kept playing on and didn't feel too bad; I knew I couldn’t go 40 yards down the pitch so needed to just be a small bit smarter in how I was moving.

“I don't think I'll play again for the rest of the year. I missed a club game last week and I'll miss Championship this week. It's a pity but it is what it is."

Andy Moran impressed for Mayo.
Andy Moran impressed for Mayo.

Moran was forced to watch the final dramatic minutes of the match from the sideline and when Dublin came from behind to win it courtesy of late Dean Rock free he almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“I just thought we were always going to win,” said Moran. “Even when Cillian's free didn't go over the bar, he won the next ball on the 14-yard line and I just felt that we were going to win the game. It just materialised that we didn't.

“I genuinely thought that we were going to win the game. The last five minutes was though; Dean took about two, two-and-a-half minutes over the free - they were probably the longest couple of minutes I've had at Croke Park.”

Moran admits that yet another All-Ireland Final defeat is hard to stomach, but he has no doubts about Mayo’s willingness to rouse themselves for the challenge again in 2018.

“Yeah, really, really hard to get the head around it I suppose in some ways but then in other ways, you just have to get back to real life and move on,” he said.

“Going again isn't the tough part. It is what you do. It's actually very hard now because you've got no training to go to and you miss the lads. County football is now that intense that the county team is nearly a club team at this stage because you spend so much time together.

“Will I watch it (The All-Ireland Final) before November? No. The All-Star awards will be tough. Awards like this are tough. You're kind of going through it in your head again. The little clips and stuff online, you miss them.

“We're a fairly united bunch. I'd say the boys will get a bit of a holiday now in December or January time. I'm sure they'll be ready for action come February again.”