Donegal star Durcan soars in estimation of Ballyboden boss McEntee
Published 08/12/2015 | 02:30
Andy McEntee has admitted he never fully appreciated the depth of Paul Durcan's goalkeeping qualities until the Donegal All-Ireland winner joined Ballyboden St Enda's earlier this year.
Qatar-based Durcan was one of Ballyboden St Enda's heroes on Sunday as they claimed a first Leinster club title to add to their recently acquired Dublin title.
McEntee, in his second year as Ballyboden manager, acknowledged the difference the 32-year-old has made and the range of skills he has - Durcan's save from Brian McCormack in the last quarter of the provincial decider against Portlaoise kept Ballyboden in the game.
"Paul has been great for us. I didn't realise he is as good as he is. Some of the kick-outs he pulled off on Sunday were superb," said McEntee.
Durcan joined Ballyboden to link up with his cousin Robbie McDaid but left for the Middle East earlier this year as his wife took up a teaching post.
McEntee said he expected Ballyboden to stay the distance and come strong in the last 10 minutes because it's something they have been doing for much of the year.
"We were behind with 10 minutes to go against Crokes, Plunkett and Clontarf. It wasn't a mystery for us but I would qualify that by saying what happened on Sunday was unfortunate (Paul Cahillane's late miss from a close-range free)."
The former Meath minor manager's success give him and his older brother Gerry the distinction of being the only siblings to manage different clubs to provincial football success.
Former Meath star Gerry McEntee was in charge of another Dublin side, St Brigid's, with Louth's Paddy Clarke as coach, when they won the Leinster title in 2003.
Interestingly, Crossmaglen's McEntee twins - very distant relations, according to Andy - have both led their club to Ulster titles.
John McEntee was joint-manager with Oisin McConville of the 11th Crossmaglen team to win an Ulster title while Tony had been in charge in a joint capacity with Gareth O'Neill during the previous successes between 2010 and 2012.
Meanwhile, Ballyboden dual player Conal Keaney has questioned his inter-county hurling future with Dublin.
"I don't really know what's happening, I haven't talked to Ger (Cunningham). I've just been concentrating on this. Maybe I'm too old to play any more. I don't know.
"It's always on your mind. I have to really look at it."