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