Mayo footballer Cillian O'Connor has teamed up with David Butler and Pat Hughes to launch a specialist financial services recruitment firm called Spot Recruitment.

The former All-Star's arrival into the world of business does not signal his departure from football.

He is gearing up for another season in the green and red, and will return to the gym and the training field in the coming weeks.

Mr O'Connor was a primary school teacher, a job ideally suited for GAA players because evenings are free for training. He hopes to balance his new career with his football commitments.

"Over the last few months, we've been getting everything in place, getting procedures and polices in place, and that's been quite time consuming but I've been able to balance that with the club season over the recent past, and hopefully that will continue into next season with Mayo," he said on Morning Ireland.


Spot Recruitment will focus on recruiting finance professionals for industry and for financial services firms including banks, insurance companies, accountancy firms, investment firms, aircraft leasing companies and corporate finance advisors.  

The firm has already secured mandates at Director and recently qualified level in the areas of Corporate Finance, Financial Consulting and Accounting in industry.

"I'm hoping a lot of the skills honed at high level sport will transfer to the business sphere," Mr O'Connor said.

"I've played almost ten seasons now. Leadership is one thing that you have to have in sport to be able to drive on performance. I think communication with so many stakeholders, like team mates, management, supporters, sponsors, media, all those skills that I've had to develop over the years will be useful in business too."

The footballer is taking a step into recruitment from an education background. His colleague David Butler comes from a law background, and has been working in recruitment for the last few years.

"We looked at the opportunity to take steps into the commerce world, and we're excited by the opportunity," Mr O'Connor said.

He said he has been forging relationships with companies and clients, and they are open to giving the new firm opportunity. "We know that we are going to have to prove ourselves in a competitive and crowded market, but we're really excited by the challenge."

He agrees that his profile as a GAA footballer with Mayo, even though based in Dublin, might open doors but ultimately he said the firm needs to deliver.

"That's going to be the bottom line. We think we can add value to the market, and if the profile helps, great but in most cases, it's about providing a good service."

Will Sam Maguire travel across the Shannon to the West in 2020? "There's no name on the trophy yet," the Mayo man said. "We're getting our pre-season in, and getting ready for what next year has in store."