Republic of Ireland football captain and Everton right back Seamus Coleman recently reprised his role as a Spar ambassador for Better Choices. He met up with Donna Ahern.
Who do you have your money on for the World Cup, and why?
Well, we’re not allowed to bet so I have no money on anyone, but I’ll go with France probably because we only played them a few weeks ago and they’re a very good team.
Who is the most difficult opponent you’ve faced in your career to date?
Eden Hazard of Chelsea. He’s a very good player, very tricky, small, fast and strong.
What does captaining Ireland mean to you?
Yeah it’s probably one of the proudest moments of my footballing career. I never take it for granted and every time I’m captain I’m very happy and very honoured.
What advice would you give to a 20-year-old Seamus Coleman?
I’d probably just give him the same advice I’d give to anyone. Just work hard, get focused on what you’re trying to do. There’ll be set backs along the way but keep going and you’ll get there in the end.
Better Choices - how would you describe your role as ambassador?
Just to get it out there to young kids and young families how important it is to keep healthy and eat healthy meals. You know I don’t normally get involved in much things like this myself but when I was approached to do this it was the idea behind it that made me go for it - Healthy meals for kids on the go that are handy to pick up in the shop or get the ingredients for, I just want to put a familiar face to a very positive campaign.
Can you tell us about the new Spar Better Choices Summer Recipe Campaign?
Well you know people have busy lifestyles, kids are busy and there’s a lot going on just to make it handy for people to pop into the shop and get good nutritious and healthy meals, but on the go.
They can just pop in and get it or if they’re looking to take a meal home and cook it themselves the ingredients are all there. It’s just to keep everyone healthy.
Why did Spar choose you?
I don’t know, I got asked and why I got chosen I don’t know. Maybe being a public figure or that I’m quite committed to what I do - maybe its something along those lines.
I was delighted when I was approached to, like I said, take play another part in something positive for the people of Ireland and help them get their healthy meals and hopefully kids in the future will be a lot healthier and long may that continue.
Any further projects lined up that you’ll be involved in?
I’m sure down the line, obviously today has just been about getting it out there again, and promoting it for the summertime menu. I’ve really enjoyed my couple appearances thus far, last year and now this summer. If they approach me again I’d be more than happy to help.
What does the future hold for your career?
I’m enjoying the football at the minute, being back playing and I want to do that for as long as possible. I’ve still got a good few years left but down the line maybe step into management, and stay involved somehow.
Do I know for sure what I want to do yet? Probably not. I’ve two young kids who love coming back to Ireland as well so that will be something that will be playing on my mind. So no big decisions are being made yet.
What do you hope that Ireland can achieve?
I really hope that we can build the team, and qualify for the next campaign, which would be massive for the country. Obviously we missed out on this World Cup, but we've got to look forward to the next campaign, and qualify. That’s the main aim for everyone.
Where will you be watching the World Cup yourself?
I’ll probably watch most of it back in Donegal. I’m going home now for the summer. I’ll probably go away for a week with the family as well but I’ll try watching a little bit of it.
Is there anything about yourself that we don’t already know?
No I think what you see is what you get – I’m a quiet family man. Love football, very committed to what I do, and that’s it. There’s nothing weird and wonderful about me really!
Aside from football what else are you interested in? How do you spend your time?
When I’m not a footballer I’m at home. I’ve got two young kids and they just take up your day, and I’ve no real hobbies as such – I don’t golf or anything like that. So it’s just go to work, play football and come back to spend the rest of the day with the kids. That’s my life.
Do they go to your matches or get excited when they see you in action?
They do yeah! My oldest now she’s two so she’s starting to understand a wee bit so when she sees me on the telly so or she goes to a game she’ll get a bit excited. My youngest is only five months so she’s still got it all to come.
Do you think they might follow in your profession?
My oldest loves running anyway so she’ll be some kind of athlete or something. She’s constantly on the go – she never stops, and loves being outside. It’s just great to see her active – it gets her ready for bed so when she hits the pillow that’s her gone for the night.