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Philly McMahon Is The Antithesis Of What Worried Joe Brolly About Many GAA Players

By PJ Browne
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Joe Brolly once expressed unease with how some GAA players float through life on the cloud of their young talent, hopping from one third level course to another, one Sigerson Cup team to another, not realising that - one day - when they take that next step, it'll be into thin air. The players of which Brolly spoke are certainly exploiting their profile - it's just without a long-term plan.

Philly McMahon has that long-term plan and he's exploiting his profile as a member of the Dublin panel and a three-time All-Ireland winner to execute it.

The 28-year-old's entrepreneurial spirit was sparked at a young age. In his late teens, while repeating the Leaving Cert, he started his own fitness courses. He now runs multiple gyms - and has plans to upscale. Those are not his only business either. He also has a food operation called 'Fit Food' and intends to soon open a restaurant off the back of it. That will be a 'healthy fast food' place located something in Dublin city centre.

Simply being an inter-county footballer is incredibly time consuming - so is running your own business. There's no crossing of those streams in McMahon's life though - they are separate. Each is an escape from the other.

I'm quite busy at the minute with my businesses, so I don't really think about football that much. I only think about it when I need to and that's when I'm in training. When I'm in training I'm focussing on what my performance is, anything else after that is irrelevant.


He does that admit that - occasionally - it's tough, it can be hard to mesh being a sportsman with a nearly professional schedule with the responsibilities of self-employment.

Sometimes it is [tough]. It depends on how big your business is and how they're getting on. My businesses are growing now and they're in a transition. Fit Food is getting to the stage where we're going to be opening up a restaurant. We're getting really big numbers in the gym, so we're going to be upscaling.

That's put a lot of pressure on me, but once I have a good team around me, nothing should change really.

While the prominence provided by inter-county football has undoubtedly helped in the establishment and growth of his operations so far, McMahon can't help but wonder if the time dedicated to GAA would be better invested in his business interests.

I've thought about it a lot, how much it's helped. You have the amount of time that you spend playing football; if you had that time in the business that you spend playing football - would it be better?

Then you weigh up the profile it gives your business and the network it provides that helps the business; it'd be interesting to see, it'd be an interesting study to see - does the time that you spend in football have a negative influence or does your profile actually helping the business more?

You get the impression that the Ballymun man's entrepreneurial spirit is irrepressible. New avenues are constantly being sought. This was obvious during Euro 2016, where some of the Irish team were using something called a Bluetens - it's a device for which McMahon has the distribution licence in Ireland.

I've got the distribution licence by for an electric stimulator called Bluetens. They were using it for recovery methods over in France and when they were flying from place to place. That's another business that I have.

And, on top of all that, McMahon is starting a charity aimed at helping young people in disadvantaged areas.

Dublin players Sinead Goldrick (Ladies Football) and Philly McMahon (Football) were at Portmarnock Beach to promote AIG Insurance’s offer of a 10% discount when travel insurance is bought online. Go to www.aig.ie or call 1800 344 455 for a quote.

Philly McMahon: The Big-Hearted And Altruistic GAA Player

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