Ballyboden boost as Paul Durcan to fly back from Qatar for All-Ireland semi-final
Dublin and Leinster club football champions Ballyboden St Enda's have been handed a significant boost ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final against Clonmel Commercials with the news that Paul Durcan will return from the Middle East to play in the tie.
The All-Ireland-winning goalkeeper is based in Qatar but he will jet home to line out against the Tipperary champions in Portlaoise on Saturday week.
And after playing a starring role in the Leinster final, Ballyboden boss Andy McEntee is confident Durcan can produce the goods again despite not training with the team.
"I think an ordinary goalkeeper … you wouldn't be able to do it. But he's not ordinary. In fact, he's extraordinary. He really is," said the Meath native.
"He's got a footballing brain. He's got skills. People look at him and see a big fella with a beard and say, 'Ah yeah, a typical GAA goalkeeper'.
"But he's exceptionally skilful. He knows what's going on. He sees things. He's a fella who says, 'I'm here. I'm the boss'. And the rest of the players just grow in confidence when he's around."
And McEntee went on to praise the way the two other goalkeepers on the panel have dealt with the unusual situation.
"It's tough on (sub goalkeepers) Darragh Gogan and Conor Dooley. But they have accepted it very, very well. They've been very manly. And they realise that we're talking about an exceptional talent."
There was more good news for the Dubliners with Ryan Basquel available again after breaking his jaw in the county final win over St Vincent's though it remains to be seen if he will feature in the clash with the Tipp men.
Irish Independent Sport Star Awards
Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.