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Paddy Andrews on the first tests Philly McMahon needs to pass at Bohs

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

18:21 3 Jun 2021

As Philly McMahon prepares to take to life coaching at Bohemians, former teammate Paddy Andrews has set out the couple of tests he will need to pass to get players onside.

On episode four of The Football Pod, Andrews told Tommy Rooney and Andy Moran the situation that Philly faced when he does his first session with the boys from Dalymount.

Philly McMahon

"Philly has had an amazing career off the pitch in terms of strength and conditioning, the studies he has done and he runs his own gym," Andrews said.

"The biggest thing that I would say about going into a new dressing room - this is true of any sport whether it's 35 lads in a GAA dressing room or slightly fewer in the Bohs dressing room - the first thing you have to overcome the credibility test.

"Before you can get into your nuts and bolts, you need to show them what you're about. The big benefit for Philly is that he has such a high profile, even if there are 20 guys there at Bohs that aren't GAA supporters and don't follow Philly's career, they'll know of the Dublin football team. They live in the city and they train over in DCU.

"They will be aware of this successful team that he's been a part of, they might even be aware of Philly's profile outside of that with the charity work that he does and success he's had away from the pitch.

"That gives Philly a leg up that straight away that they go 'right, we're interested - this guy's from a really high-performing sports team.'

"Even though it's a different sport, their interest is piqued. That is a big thing for any coach going into a new dressing room."

Bad impressions

Andrews has seen good coaches come and make bad impressions.

"I've seen it with Dublin where as nice and humble as the lads are, when a coach comes out, he'll talk and he'll make a first impression straight off the bat. If that isn't a good impression, the coach is fighting an uphill struggle from the get-go.

"Football dressing rooms are ruthless. We've had guys come in to us with Dublin and it hasn't worked, it hasn't been a good fit. That is the benefit that Philly has in that he has high credibility with those guys already."

What will he bring?

What will Philly McMahon bring to proceedings?

"The second thing, and this is the most fundamental thing with any coach: is he going to make the players better? That is your bottom job as a coach. You can get caught up in tactics and fancy stuff, but your role is to make the players you're coaching better.

"I doubt he's going to be talking about tactics or technical skills because that's not his background but if you're a Bohs player, then you can definitely talk to him about preparation, dealing with pressure, high performance, playing in big matches - even though it's a different sport.

"The bottom line with sport is that it's competition. You have got to go out and beat the other guy; that doesn't change whether it's tennis, GAA, soccer, rugby. You've got to compete and be mentally-prepared to beat the opposition.

"Philly obviously has experience of doing that over the years. So things like that will add huge value to Bohs and to their players.

"It's a great appointment and great for Philly as well."

You can listen to the full episode four of The Football Pod here.

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