For Ryan Moffatt at 36 ‘outside family, football is the best thing in the world’

Ryan Moffatt’s days dazzling supporters as a dancing left winger may be consigned to the record books but, at 36 years old, the Annagh United captain is still smiling and loving life in Irish League football.
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Moffatt grabbed the opening goal in Saturday’s top-of-the-table Championship draw between Annagh and Loughgall thanks to rapid reactions inside the danger zone.

Penalty-box predator may be one of the few roles Moffatt has not experienced across a career both highly-respected and highly-successful.

Moffatt was a key part of Loughgall’s famous five-trophy season in 2007/08 thanks to energy and enthusiasm along the flanks but accepts his influence is now centred on engine-room tactics more than edge-of-the-seat technique.

Ryan Moffett after scoring in Annagh United's weekend draw with Loughgall.Ryan Moffett after scoring in Annagh United's weekend draw with Loughgall.
Ryan Moffett after scoring in Annagh United's weekend draw with Loughgall.

“Outside family, football is the best thing in the world,” said Moffatt. “My body feels really good, I never miss training and am here to pass on any experience I can to the younger players at the club.

“I think Marshall Gillespie (Irish League statistician) had it up on Twitter the other week how our line-up average age was around 26...we were joking if you take me and Ryan Harpur out of that it probably drops to about 19!

“But I feel really good in myself, I can still get about and even back in pre-season I was up near the front of all the fitness drills...so I’ll just keep on as long as I physically can.

“You have to enjoy it, it can’t be a chore - you have to want to train and I can’t understand anyone not wanting to train or come to football.

Ryan Moffatt lifted a string of silverware - including the 2014 Bob Radcliffe Cup -  during his time at LoughgallRyan Moffatt lifted a string of silverware - including the 2014 Bob Radcliffe Cup -  during his time at Loughgall
Ryan Moffatt lifted a string of silverware - including the 2014 Bob Radcliffe Cup - during his time at Loughgall

“I left Banbridge Town and had no plans but have known Ciaran McGurgan a long time and he was one of the first to get on to me.

“I know others at the club and really enjoyed last season and played a lot of football.

“Then this season we’ve played four and I’ve started all four.”

With enthusiasm as strong as ever, Moffatt is embracing a senior role at Annagh that extends beyond his midfield contribution within 90 minutes.

“I was a left-winger myself so am always talking to Craig Taylor, I’m constantly chirping away on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we do our warm-ups together, so it’s about passing on any wee bits I can,” said Moffatt. “I thought we started pretty well against Loughgall, they settled in a bit but then we got the goal.

“I usually stay back at the minute and make sure the house is looked after but we were okay at the back and I knew we were going to at least hit the target...so I thought I would sneak in.

“I got the crumbs, it just fell to me and I couldn’t believe it...I had a wee flick with the outside of the left foot.

“I will put it down to a wee bit of experience, so I’m happy with that.

“I came in last season with a few games played and we hit the ground running and just kept going.

“we are just going to keep on playing game by game and month by month.

“Ciaran lost a lot of players in the summer, maybe five out of the starting 11 gone, so it was a big turnaround and, fair play, everyone who has come in has settled really well.”

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