The goalkeeper who went from Man United to U21 GAA in Donegal

Joe Coll chats to Off The Ball about his involvement in the FIFPro Winter Tournament

Listen to the full interview via the Off The Ball Football Show podcast.

A PFAI team is currently in Norway to take part in the FIFPro Winter Tournament which is a showcase for unemployed footballers seeking clubs.

Goalkeeper Joe Coll is part of that team but it was a last minute call from Man United scout Joe Corcoran which got him involved after original keeper Gabriel Sava was ruled out at the last moment.

The Donegal native, who spent some time in the Manchester United youth ranks, only got a call up to the tournament on Monday evening and tonight he spoke to Off The Ball from Oslo to explain why he "jumped at the opportunity".

In terms of his current playing situation, Coll is living in Donegal,  doing his Leaving Cert and playing Junior football at local level. 

But not so long ago, he was on the books at Old Trafford. 

"I was there for two seasons. I learned a lot from it, not just from the footballing side. It's an experience that's going to stand by me for the rest of my life," said Coll who made the decision to leave United. 

"In the first season I played often and in the second season, there wasn't so much football. There's very little football at times and I sat down at the end of the season and spoke to [Man United] to see what the situation was for the following season. More than likely it would be the same, if not less football so from my own point of view I felt it wasn't worth my while being there but not playing. I was going stale to an extent."

While, Coll revives his soccer career, the GAA have taken an interest and Coll is currently part of the U21 panel at his local club. Ironically, Coll is not used to playing as a goalkeeper in Gaelic football, despite that being his soccer position.

But he told Ger that the experience is standing him in good stead.

And from standing him in good stead to taking things in his stride, Coll is remaining realistic about the potential of the FIFPro tournament for his own career.

"I'm not going to get my hopes up. At the end of the day, I'm going to work day by day and take it as it comes. I'll always have my options open and I would listen and see [if a League of Ireland club came calling]."