The understated Irishman who signed from Sligo Rovers for just £60,000 a decade ago says that young players get sucked in and he says they should be better advised.
“I love what I do, but there is a load of nonsense that goes with it. People want to know the ins and outs of your life,” the Everton defender said.
“I just love football and training and winning games, and that’s where it ends. I go home then and I see my family and that’s me.
“For every player who is a bit flashy, there are three quiet lads – it’s just always the flash ones that get talked about.
“It has always been about the job and playing football and giving my family a secure future.
“Young lads these days probably get too much too soon and need to be be very careful and be advised really carefully.
“I lived at home until I was 17 and I never got sucked into the lifestyle.
“I wanted to be a footballer and play well, but you won’t see me rubbing my career or what I have or don’t have in people’s faces.
“But you have these kids who have maybe been in that football environment since they were 12 or the Irish lads who might go over when they’re 15.
“They might get sucked into feeling that they need to be something that they’re not, and that sticks with them.”