Joyce announces retirement after an outstanding 15 years' service to Galway
An era in Galway football has come to an end with Pádraic Joyce deciding to retire after a 15-year career in which he won almost every major honour in the game.
The decision by the 35-year old brings a glorious period for Galway football to an end.
It started in 1998 when Joyce and a host of other young players burst on the scene to end over three decades of frustration for Galway and Connacht football when they stormed to All-Ireland glory.
But the last remaining member of that team has now decided to leave the stage after 15 years of top-flight football.
Most of Joyce’s intercounty success came in the early years but he continued to soldier on in the fast few seasons despite a series of heartbreaking narrow defeats and Galway’s propensity to frequently keep changing their manager.
Joyce also seems likely to retire from club football after winning four county titles with Killererin, but he has not made a final decision on this.
A combination of increased work commitments – he and his wife Tracey run a busy recruitment company PJ Personnel Ltd – and elevated demands of training are the primary factors in him reaching his decision.
“I gave it some thought as other lads called a halt in recent years, but decided to persevere. But now the time is right to get out. I have been very fortunate to have played with some great teams at club, schools, college, intercounty and international.
“I’ve also been blessed to have had some great managers and some great playing colleagues so I can have no complaints.
“The county board also has always offered great support.”
Joyce emerged on the scene as part of the St Jarlath’s College Hogan Cup-winning team of 1994, which also provided the Meehan brothers, Declan and Tomás, Michael Donnellan, John Divilly and his own brother Tommie for the Galway team which ended a 32-year wait for All-Ireland glory when they defeated Kildare in the 1998 All-Ireland final.
Joyce captained Galway to All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry in 2000 but returned a year later as Galway defeated Meath to claim the Sam Maguire again.
Pádraic Joyce Factfile
Date of birth: 1st April 1977
School: St Jarlath’s College College: IT Tralee
All-Ireland senior medals (2):1998 and 2001
All-Stars (3):1998, 2000 and 2001
Texaco Player of the Year: 2001