Goalkeeper Paul ‘Papa’ Durcan, returned for his first outing of the season and first game in the green and gold since last year’s All-Ireland final for yesterday’s Dr McKenna Cup clash with Fermanagh.
The 2014 All-Star keeper turned in a good performance and pulled off a number of good saves and was back executing his trademark short kicks-outs once more with precision and pin-point accuracy.
And the newly wed (he got married in New Year’s Eve), insisted his number one priority for 2015 is to hold on to the number one shirt.
However, he did insist that he had a challenge on his hands from his understudy over the last four seasons, Michael Boyle.
“It was good to get game time and get into the swing of things,” he said after yesterday’s game.
“I’ve had a good break since the end of the club season and I’m looking forward to getting back playing again and hopefully holding on the number one spot.
“ But I recognise I’m going to be under pressure from Boyler. He is playing very well and he was very good in the last two games against Derry the first day and against Queen’s last Sunday.
“It is going to be a challenge but one I’m looking forward to and it is good for the team to have two men fighting for a position. It keeps everybody on their toes.
“I’m just going to have to put the head down now and train hard for the next two weeks before the start of the league,” he said.
“There are two big games coming up against Derry and Dublin and I want to be in the team for those games, though I fully understand I have a fight on my hands.”
Fermanagh scored two goals in their second half revival yesterday in Fr Tierney Park as they stormed back into the game in the second half.
“Any time Fermanagh got the run on us in the second half they seemed to get through easy enough and scored two goals,” Durcan added.
“That was a bit disappointing but it is something for us to work on.
“Their goals from their perspective were good goals and were well finished, though in fairness, I nearly got to one of them.”
And what about the short kick-outs that seemed to go so well on the day?
“The went well but in fairness to the lads out the field, Neil (Gallagher) Christy (Toye) and Martin (McElhinney), they showed well for them which makes it a little easier.”
Asked about Donegal’s new management team, the keeper responded: “It is going well so far.
“Rory was there before and we all know him and there is not going to be much of a transition. It is good see a number of the new lads going well in training too and it is all very positive.
“It was good to get the win today, though it was disappointing that we didn’t get through to the semi-final and get another game at least. But there’s nothing we can do about that now. It’s a matter of putting the heads down over the next two weeks and getting ready for the Derry game and the start of the league.”