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Thursday 8 December 2016

McEntee admits he's happy to compromise over 'extraordinary' goalkeeper Durcan

Boden boss Andy McEntee (SPORTSFILE)
Boden boss Andy McEntee (SPORTSFILE)

Ballyboden St Enda's manager Andy McEntee is confident that Paul Durcan will be back in Ireland and available for the clubs' All-Ireland club SFC semi-final with Clonmel Commercials on Saturday week.

The Donegal 'keeper is based in Qatar but has travelled back regularly to play with Ballyboden St Enda's in their run so far, playing a key role in their Leinster final win over Portlaoise with two important saves.

"He's in Qatar. And he'll be home for the semi-final," McEntee predicted.

Elaborating on the difficulties associated with preparing for such a game without Durcan, McEntee admitted: "I think an ordinary goalkeeper … you wouldn't be able to do it.

Typical

"But he's not ordinary. In fact, he's extraordinary. He really is.

"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 it's tough on Darragh Gogan and Conor Dooley (Ballyboden's reserve goalkeepers. Dooley also in Dublin hurling panel). But they have accepted it very, very well.

"They've been very manly. And they realise that we're talking about an exceptional talent."

"WhatsApp is a Godsend for teams," McEntee added, when asked how Durcan had kept in contact with the group.

"There's soccer teams and Gaelic teams over there for him to do a bit of work with.

"I have no issues about him. He comes back and does his job and has fitted into this club seamlessly."

As it stands, Ryan Basquel is the only player out of the semi-final as he continues his recovery from a broken jaw suffered in the county final.

"He's after missing probably the most exciting six weeks of his playing career with Ballyboden to date," McEntee outlined.

"And it's still going to get a bit of getting used to. A broken jaw is not an easy one to come back from. That's been the only serious injury."

"He's just getting into a bit of contact now. But it takes a while to get your nerve back again," he concluded.

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