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Andy Moran insists Mayo "unwavering" in belief that they can keep rising to the challenge


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If Mayo are to finally banish the long shadow of their fabled wait for an All Ireland, Andy Moran's form will be crucial to those hopes. 

The 2017 Footballer of the Year was in magnificent form throughout last year as he and his team-mates came within a whisker yet again of getting hold of Sam.

But how is the veteran forward shaping up for 2018's return to the fray?  

The Kellogg's Cul Camps GAA ambassador joined our own resident Mayo man Nathan in studio and he detailed how having a family has helped put things in perspective in his relationship with Gaelic football.

"I would be one of those self-consumed lunatics in Mayo that love football and really was obsessed by it and with Charlotte, I suppose, it gave me a switch off when I got home and I suppose I had that before in my past when I used to go home to Dad and things like that but now the kids are giving me that sort of mind space as well."

Moran also touched on life off the pitch in recent weeks.

"It's been a rough couple of months off the field. I had a second child which was a really good time in my life and it was great but it's been busy since. But Dad passed away there just shy of two months ago so it's been a weird couple of weeks and emotionally it's been a bit of a roller-coaster," he said.

The 34 year old also gave an insight into how he and his team-mates are dealing with the aftermath of All Ireland finals defeats. 

"Particularly since 2011, we've grown to appreciate it," he said of the support levels they receive. 

"We're getting to a time where we're an experienced team, we've a lot of guys over 30 who are moving to different stages of life, having kids, getting engaged, getting married. So we've a lot of guys getting to that stage and what we do appreciate is that we are the lucky 30-33 guys who get to represent the how many thousands at home and they're there in the homecoming and the guys that paid a couple of hundred euro for the ticket at the table in CityWest and we just came to realise that we have to appreciate the effort the supporters are making, our families are making, our wives are making and I think that's just the stage of the career and life that the team is in and the life cycle the team is in."     

He contrasted that with the very start of this journey at half time against All Ireland champions Cork in 2011 which was the "eeriest first half" he'd ever experienced but culminated in a "standing ovation off the pitch" as Mayo pulled off a pivotal win.   

With a significant proportion of players based in Dublin for work reasons, the effect that can have on performance has been raised in the past, but for Moran it only impacts during one period of the year when it is a "huge disadvantage": "I think it's a massive player in the League. I don't think it's a massive player in the Championship." 

In contrast, the Championship is a leveler when it comes to that issue according to Moran.

But for a talented crop who are entering their 30s, Moran feels the time is now to make the most of things for Mayo.

"Time waits for no one," he said, "I'm 35 in November. A lot of our guys in that 2006 All Ireland final winning team in the under-21s, they're all 33 now. Let's be honest here. This team is getting older but do we have confidence that we can perform when we need to perform? I think that's unwavering," he said. 


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