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'Ciaran Wanted A Blanket Defence, I Thought 'No, It's A Little Bit Too Much For 9-Year-Olds'

'Ciaran Wanted A Blanket Defence, I Thought 'No, It's A Little Bit Too Much For 9-Year-Olds'
By PJ Browne Updated

"Football would have always been number one for me since I was very small. Most of my decisions would be based around how best I'll be able to play," says Cillian O'Connor.

The Mayo footballer is a primary school teacher at Drimnagh Castle in Dublin. When making the decision to go into teaching, O'Connor said the hours and how it might help facilitate an inter-county football career was always at the back of his mind.

Though, it is also a profession which he enjoys.

I remember doing work experience when I was very young in a school and I just felt comfortable in it. Probably through doing a bit of coaching with young footballers I thought it was cool to see little improvements in people.

Coaching and teaching is something I enjoy and it's definitely beneficial having the Christmas period at home and Easter and summer, and having your evenings generally free makes it easier.

Living in Dublin means there is often a trek home to Mayo for training at various points in the year. Early on though, a group of players get together to train in Dublin. During the winter months, that group could number as high as ten.

"There's a few of us so for the first few months of the year we'd train up here during the week together so we don't have to go home until the weekends.

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"It's not too bad. And then as the year progresses, in the past we've started going home for collective training during the week.

"Those journeys during the year can be a little bit tough, but we're not the only county with that challenge. There's other teams that have that too. I suppose with the life of a teacher it's not as bad as the guys who are in offices and work in Dublin all year around.

O'Connor isn't sure what terms his young players at Drimnagh Castle would use to describe him. Though, they would likely believe him to be a bit more positive in his tactics than one of the other coaches at the school.

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The other lad I was with Ciaran did most of the coaching, I just took a load of balls up to the other goal and went kicking myself. I'd say I was more of a hindrance than anything else!

Ciaran wanted to employ a blanket defence with the junior team and I thought, 'No, it's a little bit too much for nine-year-olds.' I told him we were going playing the purist, Ajax way.

Match Night Live on eir sport - Mayo captain Cillian O’Connor, Tiernan McCann of Tyrone, Cork forward Patrick Horgan and Wexford’s Lee Chin were in Dublin as eir sport today announced details of its live coverage of the forthcoming Allianz Leagues which will see 17 games broadcast across seven weekends. eir sport, the home of Saturday night Allianz Leagues action, will feature 17 different counties over the course of its coverage.

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See Also: Lee Chin Doesn't Have A Job And That's Fine By Him

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