McDaid and Durcan aim for family double with Ballyboden
Published 15/03/2016 | 02:30
After a difficult 2015 Robbie McDaid is revelling in the possibility of sharing an unlikely All-Ireland club football success with his first cousin Paul Durcan.
Injury and concussion blighted McDaid's progress with both Dublin and Ballyboden St Enda's last year but just weeks after securing the Sigerson Cup with UCD, the half-back is on course for a famous double.
The 22-year-old will also take much credit if 'Boden do go on to lift the Andy Merrigan Cup as he has played a huge part with his performances on the pitch, and outside of the white lines by helping to secure the services of Donegal's All-Star goalkeeper Durcan.
"My dad and his mum are brother and sister and I just think there wasn't any other club that he would have considered. Growing up I would have gone to all the Donegal games and he would always be in touch, finding out how I did with the club," McDaid said of Durcan.
"I think he showed that interest in my football in Dublin and I don't think there was any other option for him really. When he saw what type of a club Ballyboden is, he didn't take much persuading. I said we'd love you up with the club but it didn't take much to get him here.
"It's a great family occasion, all of his sisters and my cousins are following our progression in the championship and going to the games. It's always special when you have that kind of family ties in the club and I'm looking forward to lining out in Croke Park with him."
McDaid always dreamed of playing against Durcan in an All-Ireland decider, as opposed to alongside him, and admits that his kick-outs have been crucial to 'Boden's cause despite making the substantial commute from Qatar for games.
"The commute is a lot easier when you're winning games and I think the thing he finds hardest to get used to is the weather because he's enjoying the sun and heat over there. When you come back here, it's Baltic," he said.
"With the way the game has gone, kick-outs are so important and it just changes the way we play. We know that if we make the runs, the ball is going to be put out in front of us and knowing that makes it so much easier.
"Even when the legs are heavy you make the runs. His range of kicking is just phenomenal too, he can hit the shorter or the very long ones as well. It makes us hard to play against for any opposition."