Lure of the Qatar could end Paul Durcan's Donegal days
Published 03/11/2015 | 02:30
Donegal may have to find a new goalkeeper next year as uncertainty surrounds Paul Durcan's future, arising from a move to Qatar.
He won a Dublin senior county title with Ballyboden-St Enda's on Sunday but may play no part in the Leinster SFC as he is over and back to Qatar trying to line up work.
In the longer term, his days as Donegal No 1 could also be over.
"I'll see what happens. I'll be chatting to Rory (Gallagher) and see what the craic is in the New Year," he said.
Durcan, 31, admits that leaving the Donegal set-up would be a wrench but there are practical considerations to be taken into account.
"I love playing for Donegal. It would be tough if I do leave it behind. But it's time to make a bit of money. It's (football) not paying the bills, unfortunately, so we'll see what happens. I'm 14 years nearly with Donegal now," he said.
Durcan made his SFC debut in 2004 and has seen bad and good times in a county which underwent a dramatic transformation following the arrival of Jim McGuinness as manager at the start of the 2011 season.
Durcan was a key figure in Donegal's surge up the rankings, a move which peaked in 2012 when they won the All-Ireland title for the first time in 20 years. He switched from his home club, Four Masters, to Ballyboden-St Enda's this year, a move which has now earned him a Dublin title
He kept a clean sheet as Ballyboden beat favourites, St Vincent's by four points.
Travel commitments forced him to miss the semi-final win over Clontarf but he was restored to the starting 15 for the final. "I'm enjoying my time (at Ballyboden). Unfortunately, I didn't get as much time as I would have liked with the boys. It was mostly just the games and the odd bit of training here and there. It was a good experience and in fairness to Andy (McEntee), he has been very accommodating."
The Ballyboden manager was delighted to have to have such a high-profile goalkeeper aboard but may have to plan without him for the Leinster Championship, where the new Dublin champions begin their campaign against St Patrick's (Louth) in Drogheda next Sunday.
He sees some differences in the style of Dublin club football compared to Donegal, not least when it comes to moving the ball.
" It's different (in Dublin), the ball goes in earlier and there's more kicking from what I'd be used to. It's less defensive as well."
He has been most impressed by the work ethic of the Ballyboden squad, comparing it to inter-county standard.
"The strength, the work the guys do in the gym - it's almost like a county team. They're a savage bunch when it comes to hard work," said Durcan.
Ballyboden's first Dublin title success since 2009 has hoisted them to 4/5 favourites to win the Leinster title for the first time.