Everton defender Seamus Coleman has revealed his admiration for the Donegal Gaelic football team and their manager Jim McGuinness ahead of the All-Ireland final against Mayo on Sunday September 23.
Donegal native Coleman played Gaelic football in his youth before opting to play professional football for Sligo Rovers and said that he is a 'big follower' even though he has chosen a different path.
"It’s not like I’m just keeping an eye on it. I’m a big follower of it," he told the Irish Examiner. "It’s hard to get away from it at home. Everyone is speaking about it and there’s a great buzz.
He continued: "The players have put in a lot of work over the last two years under Jim McGuinness so they deserve to be in the final."
"I never got away from it. It was a big part of my life and I really, really enjoy it. I go to all the games I can go to. I’ve great time for all the [Donegal] lads.
"I’ve not seen a fitter inter-county team in a long, long time," he added. "I don’t think there’s ever been a team in such great physical shape.
"Win or lose they need serious credit for the work they have put in for amateur players. They go on certain diet plan. It’s a full-time job for them as well."
However, despite his enthusiasm for the game, the 23-year-old admitted that he would never swap association football for Gaelic games.
He said: "Gaelic was a big part of my life but I’d never swap the job I have. No disrespect, but this football has done me really well and I’ve achieved a lot of my dreams that I never thought I’d get.
"I’m fully behind the lads and will be their biggest fan on the day but I’m happy with the road I took," concluded the defender.