Ireland and Everton full-back looks back at a memorable summer and looks forward
Ireland and Everton right-back Seamus Coleman says he has every intention of playing Gaelic football again for Killybegs once his soccer career comes to an end.
Coleman, who captained Ireland against Italy and France at Euro 2016, was speaking to Off The Ball as he prepares for a new season at Everton off the back of a fine Euros on a personal level.
Coleman also gave his reaction to his native Donegal's All-Ireland defeat to Dublin before looking back on his own Gaelic football education which saw him come up against some of the current Donegal panel including Michael Murphy.
"Growing up I played Gaelic until I was 18 so I would have come across a lot of them and played against a lot of them and it was something I really enjoyed. I love playing Gaelic and obviously Michael's a top player and went on to do great things so it was good to say you played against them players in Gaelic," he said, before admitting his GAA experience isn't over yet.
Seamus Coleman at Sligo in 2007 ©INPHO/James Crombie
"Obviously I'm a home-bird, so I plan to go home when my football career finishes over here, I'll go back to Killybegs and if I've still got a bit in the legs, hopefully I can play for Killybegs and that's something that I've always wanted to do. I would love to be fit to pop over to the training pitch on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and give it a go."
He added that he missed Gaelic football initially when he first made the move to Sligo Rovers FC.
Coleman looked back at that transition to League of Ireland football and how he developed as a player, highlighting how ex-Rovers manager Paul Cook gave him such confidence.
"Me bombing on in the 90th minute was something he loved and something he really encouraged," he added.
The 27-year-old also talked Euro 2016 and Everton, including key moments from Ireland's campaign.
"When you came away from the Euros, you had a different bond with the players - more friendship really than just team-mates. It was a very good month away together and we had some highs and we had some lows and all that made us a little bit closer," he said, while also later touching on how much the Ireland captaincy gave him pride but also how it may - or may not - have changed his on-pitch persona.
"I think we came away a lot stronger and really looking forward to the next campaign really and trying to play football a lot better than maybe we had done and the manager's really encouraging that."