Muldoon: I’m proudest of being a one-club man

Connacht captain John Muldoon says he is delighted he turned down lucrative offers from Ireland, England and France to fulfil his dream of guiding his native province to their first piece of silverware.
Muldoon: I’m proudest of being a one-club man

Muldoon is set for his final game for Connacht against Leinster in the PRO14 in Galway on Saturday.

It brings to an end a 15-year career where the Portumna native played 326 games for the province, including 253 appearances in the league. But the 35-year-old knows he made the right decision to stay and captain Connacht to a first-ever piece of silverware with the PRO12 title in 2016.

“I’m proudest of being a one-club man. Staying here when there were a lot of dark clouds, it would have killed me not to be a part of a team that lifted a trophy,” said Muldoon.

“I had the opportunity to go to Ireland, England and a couple of places in France. Maybe if I was a little bit older I might have taken the French option. It was definitely more lucrative to go elsewhere.

I am 35 years of age, I have probably got 30 years to go out and make some money. I have memories with friends and family. The pride of where I am from ..... which probably has affected my bank balance.

“But life is for living. If I was stuck in an apartment down in the south of France I might have had huge regrets, if I wasn’t a part of that day a couple of years ago (when Connacht won the PRO12).

“I can rest easy at night knowing that I have enjoyed myself the utmost in Connacht Rugby. It is hard to put it into words but it’s something I will miss massively.”

Muldoon will head for Ashton Gate and Bristol, at the end of the summer, where he links up with former Connacht coach Pat Lam again.

Lam led Connacht to the league crown after that 20-10 win over Leinster two years ago, and Muldoon is excited about the prospect of becoming a defence coach in the English Premiership.

“I spoke to Kieran Keane in November. I told him I was retiring and I was looking to get a coaching role outside of Connacht. And KK said it would be a good option for me, to break the cord (with Connacht),” said Muldoon.

“Emotionally to get away from Connacht and experience something different, a new league, different people, it’s a huge opportunity for me. The fact that I know Pat Lam already will help. I know Conor McPhillips as well.

“Going into a job where I know two people will make that transition easier. It’s a huge couple of months and some big changes.

“It lessens the blow for me that I am walking out of professionalism and going into the next best thing to playing rugby.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox