Derryleigh One-on-One with Andy Gleeson

In the 5th of our series of Derryleigh One-on-Ones, it’s time to meet up with self-confessed Man Utd fanatic, schoolboy manager, new committee member and your local friendly postman Andy Gleeson. He might always ring twice but he always gets the job done. Thanks Andy for being a good sport and taking part.

Q. How long have you been associated with Newport Town AFC?
On & off since 2008.

Q. What’s your current involvement with the Club?
Underage manager & committee member.

Q. What type of player were you as a schoolboy?
I was a defender & when I was younger I tried to play rough & tough but the older I got I calmed a bit and tried to read the game a bit more…always loved training because I loved to learn.

Q. What are your hopes for next season in NTAFC?
I hope to help more in the club being a committee member & I would love to bring home some silverware with the U14s next season.

Q. What professional soccer team do you support and why?
Manchester United because they have been in our family since my grandad & he was a season ticket holder…so I didn’t support them just because they won everything.

Q. Who are your favourite professional players (both past & present)?
Mark Hughes because he was the type of player I loved to be like as a kid, but he is a gentleman off the pitch & yes, I had the pleasure of meeting him on a number of occasions.

And these days I love to watch Ronaldo, yes, he is brilliant & has won almost everything there is to be won but I loved watching his career & how he always pushed himself to be the best.

Q. In your opinion, what qualities make a player a good team captain?
Good communication & lead by example.

Q. What takes up your time when you’re not at the Club?
My kids these days. They play football for the club, but they also take part in taekwondo, swimming & the scouts so I’m kept busy.

Q. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
Homer Simpson… DOH!!!

Q. What is your favourite film?
I’m a big science fiction freak so I’ve loads of favourites, but I always love to watch the trilogy of Star Wars.

Q. Who is your favourite band / singer?
Oasis & yes, I wish they would get back together

Q. Do you have a special routine or superstition in general or before a game?
Yes, I always used to lay out my gear the night before a game & always had my boots tied up as tight as possible. I felt it used give me better control of a football.

Q. Who is your favourite non-sports icon?
Nelson Mandela… he believed in equality for all & my god did he fight for it… an amazing human being.

Q. If you could play at any sporting stadium in the world, which one would it be?
Old Trafford because when that place is in full volume it is the best… but hasn’t been so in the last few years unfortunately

Q. Messi or Ronaldo?

Q. What other sport(s) do you love to play, and how would you rate your skills?
I still try to play 5-a-side, golf & racquetball as much as I can & how I rate myself? In the same order loud & slow, not so good & sweat a lot 😂

Q. Best thing about living in Newport?
It’s close to Limerick 😂… no seriously since I moved here in 2007 my family and I have made a great life for ourselves & we’ve made some great friends here too. It’s a very friendly & happy town.

Q. What one word would others use to describe you?

Q. who (in your opinion) was the best player you ever played with or coached?
Played with a lot of good players in my days of playing but since I’ve gone into coaching there’s one lad I really enjoyed coaching & that was Alex O’Toole not only did he have a lot of skill and knew how to play the game but every training session & every game he would take note of what he could’ve done better and always wanted to learn. He now plays with the 14s A team & will be a great asset to our club in years to come.

Q. What is your favourite memory to date of being involved with Newport Town AFC?
I suppose it has to when I came back to play with the Newport C team a few seasons back. It was an experimental team of youth and experience & the team that was put together was a great bunch of lads that just wanted to do their best & we were so unlucky not to get rewarded at the end of it.

Q. If you could change or bring in one rule in soccer, what would it be?
Bring back the back-pass rule for them poor Liverpool fans. Since they got rid of it almost 30 years ago their team has suffered. 😂

Q. What’s the funniest or strangest thing you ever saw happen during a match?
It must be while I was playing in a local derby schoolboy game in Cals pitch for my home club of Weston villa against Hyde Rangers, we were waiting on the referee who was local man Tommy Power RIP to show up. He was almost a half hour late & both managers were about to send us home when we saw this figure appear cycling a high-nelly bicycle across the pitch. The poor man was exhausted and looked like he had just done the Tour de France but fair play to him he carried on as normal… very funny experience 😂👍🏻

Q. Who has had the biggest impact on your soccer career to date?
My Dad…he always encouraged me to do my best in everything I did.

Q. If you had one wish, what would you look to change/implement in NTAFC?
Well since joining the committee I’ve brought the issue of changing the entrance gate at the Astro pitch to the opposite side. I think it would make the clubhouse & both pitches more accessible to everyone when they’re training on the Astro. But I really like the direction the club is going & it’s great to be involved in it.

Q. What advice do you have for the younger NTAFC players?
To keep training & push yourself to do the best you can but always enjoy what you’re doing no matter how good or bad things are.