Sport Gaelic Football

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Durcan not afraid of wide open spaces

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

DONEGAL goalkeeper Paul Durcan has rubbished the idea that his side will struggle in the open spaces of Croke Park.

The newly crowned Ulster champions operate a disciplined defensive system that could be difficult to execute at Headquarters, but the Four Masters man doesn't think there will be any difference for his team-mates out the field when they take on Kildare this weekend.

He did acknowledge, though, that the Lilywhites' championship experience at the venue will offer them a significant advantage on Saturday.

"I don't think Croke Park is much bigger than Clones. There might be a few metres in it, but it is deceptive at times," Durcan said.

"The lads handled it okay in the league final.

"Playing there is definitely an advantage (for Kildare). They have played here s good few times this year."

But he believes that Donegal's experience of their Division 2 final win over Laois can help them get to grips with the occasion.

"Hopefully, the lads having the experience in the league final will help," he said.

"You saw Kildare going forward the last day and the power of their running.

"People chat about our blanket effect, but there is nothing a blanket defence can do about that."

After the jubilant celebrations that marked a first Ulster title since 1992, Durcan reckons the Donegal public are now hungry for more success.

And he doesn't want his season to end on a bum note this Saturday.

"After talking to people in the county, they want us to go on and do more," he said.

"I know the team want more success, so we will be very disappointed if we don't go on and beat Kildare, but it will definitely be the hardest game of the year. We need to push on to make it a good year."

Irish Independent

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