David Hennessy talks to Adrian Moyles about his time on the sidelines through injury, his return to the London team and time on the books of several soccer clubs, including Chelsea FC
“It only makes you stronger on the other side,” says London forward Adrian Moyles of his time on the sidelines.
Adrian made his championship debut for London in 2009 at the age of 18 before spending time studying. The 2012 and 2013 campaigns, he was ruled out with a fractured and dislocated ankle that took three operations and almost 18 months to repair. He returned in goal scoring form for London during the league campaign last year before being ruled out of London’s championship with “niggles”. He is currently enjoying his first interrupted season in some time.
“It’s such a central part of who you are and what you do and to take yourself away from that, and away from the group as well, is quite difficult. Obviously, I was quite busy. I was studying and you try to keep yourself busy with that, make sure you don’t go completely mad.
“It’s nice to actually get back out and show that all the work that people don’t see or hear of is worth it in the end. The championship days drive you on.”
Moyles’ misfortune with injuries coincided with London’s great fortune reaching a Connacht final: “I kind of keep the disappointment to myself but if I’m being honest with you, I was absolutely gutted not to be involved. All my family are from Mayo and I was sitting up in the stand, watching the boys warm up, watching them play. There was mixed feelings, I was immensely proud of the boys, they really deserved to get where they did, but there was a part of me that wished I was out there. I was just focused on my rehab at the time anyway. I know I had to get back for other days.”
Moyles played in most of London’s league games this year and it was his free that opened London’s scoring in their recent championship opener.
Against Roscommon, Lorcan Mulvey scored 0-8 of London’s 0-10 with five of these points coming from frees. Do London need a spread of scores and more from play against Cavan? “Yeah, of course. To be honest, I think we did have the opportunities to spread it a little bit more. Myself and Alan O’Hara hit a few wides, a couple more boys contributed wides as well so that could have been rectified but I suppose it just gives us a different option as well and makes us a bit less predictable when we are attacking. If we could take some of the pressure off Lorcan, that would benefit us.
“Mark (Gottsche) and Lorcan are probably two of our most consistent performers. Them producing a good performance is almost a given. It’s a question of other boys coming up and contributing something towards a collective performance. They’ll perform. We just have to make sure everyone else does.
“You have to keep possession and it will be important against Cavan because they’re probably a little bit more defensive than Roscommon so there’s going to be times where if we’re going to be attacking, we might become a little bit frustrated so we’ll have to make the right calls at the right time and that might mean having to keep the ball a little bit longer than perhaps you would like to but as long as it transfers into something productive i.e. you score, that will be the most important aspect.”
Adrian comes from the Mill Hill/Edgware area with parents from Crossmolina and Swinford. London-born players playing for London should become less of a novelty due to the work being done with the London development squad: “If myself and Philip playing in the team, if it gives them a little bit more inspiration to go on and break through, all well and good but they need to understand the amount of work and commitment that goes into it.”
Adrian and his St Kiernan’s team last year won the inaugural Home Grown Championship, a tournament to give Britain-born players something to compete for: “It’s a great idea. I don’t know why they didn’t do it ten years ago to be honest. If they don’t provide some sort of competition for the players, they will ultimately end up losing them so it’s a way to retain five, ten players, that would be brilliant.”
We often hear of the lack of home grown soccer players getting the opportunity. What’s Adrian’s take on this, as someone who spent time on the books of Chelsea (where he was managed by Brendan Rodgers during his time in charge of youth there), QPR and Brentford as well as spending some time at Real Zaragoza? “There’s a split, there’s always going to be a split. I was in a pretty good team. Some of my team mates were the likes of Ryan Bertrand, Scott Sinclair, Jack Cork, Fabio Borini so they’ve all gone on to have good successful careers in the Premiership. There’s another percentage then for various reasons that don’t go on to make it but we were always told that we were competing against players from all over the world, not just next to you. The percentages don’t add up greatly for people breaking through but it is what it is.”
Has his time involved with professional football clubs prepared Adrian for this different but elite and intense sport? “It just gets you into a certain mentality in terms of the way you conduct yourself, the way you approach things and it kind of brings that professionalism that you really need at inter-county these days. Any sort of commitments or demands that are put on us, I don’t really think twice about it, you just do it. It’s regimental and it’s all for a specific purpose. It does help, I suppose.”