Tuesday 11 December 2018

Loss of McBrearty is a 'massive blow'

Patrick McBrearty leaves the pitch injured during the Ulster Championship Final last weekend. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Patrick McBrearty leaves the pitch injured during the Ulster Championship Final last weekend. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Jim McGuinness has described the news of Paddy McBrearty's season-ending injury as a "massive blow" for Donegal.

The Donegal County Board confirmed yesterday that the Kilcar man had suffered what they described as a "season-ending ACL tear" in their Ulster SFC final win over Fermanagh last weekend.

And McGuinness, who handed McBrearty his Donegal debut while he was still eligible for minor football back in 2011, insists the news is a significant setback for Declan Bonner's men ahead of their 'Super 8s' campaign which kicks off next month.

"It's a massive blow," McGuinness began. "It's really a massive blow, a massive blow for Patrick obviously, his family, his club, the county, the supporters of Donegal, it's just not the story people wanted to be waking up to this morning in Donegal on the back of what has been an incredible season so far.

"This fusion of young talent, there's an energy, skill, quality going forward, so it is devastating for him. He's just a really quiet young fella that loves Gaelic football, and now he's going to be sidelined from his own sport, that's going to be very tough on him.

"We just hope he gets the best surgeon possible to work with him, to do the best job possible with him and get him back as quickly as possible.

"He's 24, he'll be 25 in August, he's in his peak, there's no doubt he was one of the best forwards in the country this season, he would have been an All-Star for me, nailed on, maybe he still will be. It's a big blow, a huge blow."

However, the former Donegal manager believes that after securing an Ulster title, Donegal can still make an impact in the latter stages of the championship ahead of their Super 8s opener against Dublin on the weekend of July 14/15.

"I still feel the energy they've created is there, they've embraced the championship, the younger guys have that medal in their pocket and they've experienced what it's like to win an Ulster Championship and I think that will stand them in good stead.

"Obviously you'd want everybody available going in to play Dublin in Croke Park and that's not going to be the case now. I think how Patrick reacts to this, and then as a result how the players react to this, that can galvanise you and you just go for it."

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