Time for Donegal’s Paul Durcan to put career before football

Veteran goalkeeper moving to Qatar for the forseeable future after win with Ballyboden

Donegal’s Paul Durcan: “I’m 14 years nearly with Donegal It’s time to make a bit of money as the man says. It’s not paying the bills.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Donegal’s Paul Durcan: “I’m 14 years nearly with Donegal It’s time to make a bit of money as the man says. It’s not paying the bills.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Donegal’s All Star goalkeeper Paul Durcan has given the clearest indication that his inter-county career may be over for the foreseeable future. He was speaking after the Dublin football final in which he played for Ballyboden who shocked county and provincial champions St Vincent’s.

Durcan, who has moved to Qatar where his wife has taken up a new post, was asked was there a possibility that he mightn’t be back.

“Ah yeah, listen; I’m 14 years nearly with Donegal, ” he said. “It’s time to make a bit of money as the man says. It’s not paying the bills, unfortunately, so we’ll see what happens next year. I’ll be chatting to Rory next year and I’ll see what the crack is in the new year.”

Now 31 and a quantity surveyor, Durcan has played 51 championship matches for Donegal since making his senior debut in 2004 against Antrim. He won a county medal with his home club Four Masters in 2003 but switched to Ballyboden for the past season, as he was based in Dublin and his cousin Robbie McDaid plays for the club.

He confirmed that he was unlikely to be able to play a significant role in Ballyboden’s provincial campaign, which starts this coming weekend.

“I’m living in Qatar now so moving over. Pressure on now! Find a bit of work over there. No, it was a good experience with the boys, in fairness they’re a good bunch of lads so it’s nice to get another championship before I head out.”

He was unable to play in the semi-final against Clontarf and acknowledged the flexibility shown by Ballyboden manager Andy McEntee.

According to Durcan the Dublin championship was a new experience compared to club football at home.

“It’s different, the ball goes in earlier, more kicking from what I’d be used to. It’s less defensive as well. The strength, the work the guys do in the gym, it’s almost like a county team. It is definitely up there with it. They work as hard. They’re a savage bunch.”

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