"People don't realise how hard a decision it actually is" - Seamus Coleman on choosing soccer over GAA
"I was better at Gaelic than soccer."
When you see Seamus Coleman captaining Everton and Ireland, it seems pretty obvious in hindsight that choosing soccer over Gaelic football was a no-brainer.
However, when the Donegal native decided to give the former a proper go, it certainly wasn't as obvious a choice at the time.
Coleman had to bet on himself to defy the odds and choose between potentially playing GAA for his county, or going to Sligo Rovers in the hope of getting an opportunity in England.
With the Ireland skipper's relentless work ethic, determination and talent, it shouldn't be a surprise that he has been so successful, but speaking at the launch of SPAR's Better Choices campaign, the Premier League star revealed just how tough a decision it was to make.
"I think unless you're from these small towns and you're from these Gaelic communities, people don't realise how hard a decision it actually is," said the relentless right back.
"I don't think anyone would understand how hard a decision that was, as a 17-year-old boy, because I was probably better at Gaelic than I was at soccer to be honest.
"Actually, not probably, I was better at Gaelic than soccer, and it was a big loss for the club. The dream of England was a long, long way away when I signed for Sligo Rovers.
"I probably felt that it was possible, but maybe not everyone thought that and to leave Gaelic would have been a big call at the time and it wasn't made overnight, it was quite a hard decision to make.
"But I went with it, I stuck with it, and I didn't look back. There were a few times when I could have gone back, but I didn't and I stuck with it and thankfully I did.
"I always said I can go back and give Gaelic a go, whereas you can't go back and give soccer a go at [the age of] 24 or 25. So, I made the right decision thankfully."