Seamus Coleman’s former teammate has explained how playing Gaelic football prepared the Everton full-back for a career in soccer.
Coleman was a talented Gaelic footballer growing up in Killybegs, Donegal before he turned his attention to football.
Sligo Rovers spotted the future Republic of Ireland captain playing local football, and from there he joined Everton in a deal worth £60,000 in 2009.
The full-back has gone on to play almost 300 times for the Toffees and become club captain.
However, Coleman’s former Sligo Rovers teammate Gavin Peers reckons that, without his background in Gaelic football, the future Ireland captain would not have forged a successful career in the sport.
Peers cites Coleman’s “intensity”, which he developed in Gaelic Games, as being the player’s key attribute and what set him apart in soccer.
“He was pretty shy, so you couldn’t say he’d have definitely been a captain, but on the field, he had the intensity from playing Gaelic,” Gavin Peers, Coleman’s former teammate told The Athletic.
“We’d joke that lads who weren’t good enough to play football played Gaelic, but it served him well. He just had this knack of making things happen.
“He didn’t score many, but I remember this one goal; he set off running and went past about four fellas.
“The ball’s bouncing off their shins like in a GAA game, but Seamie was still keeping it, then suddenly he was through on goal.”
Peers also credits Coleman’s intensity and drive with helping the player overcome a cruel double-leg break in 2017 that put him out of action for almost a year.
“That will to win was what set him apart. I remember I suffered a bad cruciate injury at the same time he had his double leg-break and I wasn’t surprised how dedicated he was to getting fit and playing again.
“It’s hard to get back completely to how you were, but he’s gone on to be a regular in the Premier League again.”
You can read the full piece on Coleman here.