VIDEO: Galway legend Padraic Joyce on the “void” of retirement and his search for perfection as a manager
Padraic Joyce was one of the most-feared forwards in the country in his day and his list of honours for Galway includes two All-Irelands, six Connacht titles and 10 All-Stars.
Having led his county to All-Ireland wins in 1998 and 2001 and established himself as one of the best players of his generation, it’s no surprise that he found it hard to leave intercounty football behind.
“When I retired from football, there was a huge hole, a void left in my life,” Padraic says in a new video by Eirgrid, sponsors of the EirGrid GAA U20 Football Championship.
“You’re so used to going to training probably four or five nights a week. It was time to get back involved. I just felt that something that I always wanted to do was to try and give back to Galway GAA, which has given me so much in my life.”
Joyce’s way of giving something back was to get into underage management with his club Killererin before making the step up to coach the Galway U20 team in this year’s EirGrid GAA U20 Football Championship.
In this interview, Joyce talks about making the transition from player to manager and trying to inspire his young charges to play with the same intensity and desire that made him such a formidable competitor. Admitting that he is a “feisty character,” he says that part of that transition was finding the best way to channel his passion in his new role.
He discusses how privileged he feels to be nurturing the next generation of Galway footballers and the sense of responsibility that comes with the job. His main goal as manager is to help his U20 team to be the best footballers they can be and to teach them what it means to put on that Galway jersey.
“We are really looking for perfection and, as I said to the lads, I don’t make any bones about looking for perfection.”
Modern management is all about cultivating relationships with your players and Joyce touches upon the need to be a friend to his players as much as a mentor. As an U20 manager, Joyce says that one of his main goals is to inspire them to success in the present while also helping them to develop as players.
Like Joyce, Eirgrid’s management of Ireland’s electricity grid requires them to achieve great results today while also sowing the seeds for future success. As the proud sponsor of the GAA Football U20s All-Ireland Championship, EirGrid is pleased to showcase a glimpse of what it takes to nurture the next generation of Galway GAA talent through the eyes of its manager.