DONEGAL manager Rory Gallagher has admitted that goalkeeper Paul Durcan may have played his last game for the county.
Fresh from winning an All-Ireland club title with Ballyboden St Enda’s at Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day, Durcan returned to Qatar earlier this week where he lives with his wife Edel.
While the Dublin club were happy to accommodate Durcan’s unique situation – flying him in from the Middle East country to play club games – it’s highly unlikely that such an arrangement would be acceptable to Gallagher or Donegal.
“I haven’t spoken to Papa (Paul Durcan) yet. He was in and out (Ireland) in a few days last week but we’ll try to meet up in the next week to ten days to discuss things but Paul is very much in control of that decision.
“We’ve said many, many times that we would love to have him available – he was a big part of our success – but at the same time we’re also very conscious that there’s a very strong possibility that he may not be back and we have to make other plans,” Gallagher said.
On a more positive note, Durcan’s understudy last season, Michael Boyle (Termon), is back training after sustaining a serious knee injury.
“Michael is making really good progress and should be back in mid-April which is positive. The news with Darach O’Connor is similar while Rory Carr is also doing well. They’re all big pluses,” he said.
Another man back in the fold is David Walsh although it will take him a while yet to get his fitness levels up to the required levels once more.
Colm McFadden though is expected to take his place in a Donegal panel for the first time this weekend, with the St Michael’s man back in training.
Leo Mc Loone is available after sitting out the Roscommon game through suspension while Karl Lacey and Martin McElhinney are ‘moving up the gears’ having appeared as substitutes against Roscommon last time out.
“Most of them are all back up to speed again now and are fit and available. Colm McFadden is very close to the squad. He trained fully on Tuesday night,” Gallagher said.
It’s the start of a busy fortnight for Donegal with back to back away games to Dublin and Monaghan.
“We look to be competitive and to improve in whatever game we’re playing. We’ll try to win them both.”
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