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"When he speaks, I’m like 'YES, YES, YES!'" | Des McAleenan on Johnny Giles

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

16:34 14 May 2020

The Colombian national team's goalkeeping coach from Artane, Des McAleenan, was a guest on The Football Show on Off The Ball on Wednesday.

McAleenan has had an interesting career from university and kids summer camps in America to the MLS working with Tim Howard in his first professional gig.

The Dubliner coached around the world in Saudi Arabia and Mexico before getting the gig in Bogotá, where McAleenan reckons he is the first Irish American passport-holder to work with the Colombian football team.

Des hearts John

For all the travel, McAleenan still loves his home comforts and is a fan of Off The Ball, with one contributor coming in for special praise.

"Not to blow smoke up your arse, but I love the show, I love listening to it," says McAleenan, "Johnny Giles is a national treasure.
"When he speaks, I’m like 'YES, YES, YES!' because he’s old school, he has good values, he’s no-nonsense, he’s not of the pampered, $30,000 watch, covered in ink - you know he’s real.
"There’s no bullshit with Johnny Giles, he played for one of the great teams. I’m fascinated by Leeds, their legacy and the way they went out and systematically took care of opponents.
"And the stories," continued the Artane man, "I liked him as a columnist. When he was on the show, I was in the car the other day, I parked the car and I sprinted into the house and turned on the radio.
"I love listening to him. His descriptions of the players, that spot you’ve been doing where you list his best elevens.
"Long may it continue, if he listens to the show, I’d love to give him a big hug.
"I love Johnny Giles and long may he continue and have a voice to be listened to because when he speaks he’s got real things to say."
Amen, Des, Amen.

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