Durcan unlikely to return for championship

Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Paul Durcan’s return to wear the Donegal jersey is very much in doubt after it was reported earlier this week that he will not feature in this year’s Ulster championship.

Speculation had been rife in recent months that the double All-Star goalkeeper would return for this summer’s Ulster championship since he emigrated to Qatar in the United Arab Emirates last September.

This speculation was further fuelled when he commuted between Qatar and Dublin for Ballyboden St Enda’s AIB All-Ireland winning club run. At no stage did Donegal manager Rory Gallagher rule out a return for the 2012 All-Ireland winning keeper.

However, the Irish Independent reported earlier this week that Durcan was staying on in Qatar and had no plans to return home in the foreseeable future.

Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher, was not available this week to clarify the situation regarding the former Four Masters man.

And Donegal chairman, Sean Dunnion, told the Democrat that he knew nothing on the situation regarding what he had read in the press.

“I genuinely don’t know what the situation is with Paul. I was speaking to Rory (Gallagher) yesterday and he did not mention it either. I’m only going on what I read in the press,” said the chairman. Durcan emigrated to Qatar after Donegal exited last years championship.

U-21 keeper Danny Rodgers; former U-21 ‘keeper Peter Boyle from Aodh Ruadh and Mark Anthony McGinley have been used by Rory Gallagher this season so far with both Boyle and McGinley getting game time in the Allianz League. Danny Rodgers played in the McKenna Cup but then concentrated on playing with the U-21s.

Rodgersm who has two more seasons at U-21m has left the squad in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Michael Boyle, who was number two to Durcan in recent years, has also returned to the squad after undergoing cruciate knee surgery before Christmas.

Mark Anthony McGinley is currently sidelined with a knee injury while Boyle has yet to return to action with his club Termon.

Paul Durcan’s last game for Donegal was in last August’s All-Ireland quarter final defeat to Mayo in Croke Park.

Donegal are the last team out in the Ulster Championship this season on June 12th. They will play the winners of the Fermanagh/Antrim preliminary round tie on which takes place on Sunday week May 15th.

If Fermanagh are Donegal’s opposition the game will be played in Sean MacCumhaill Park, and it was confirmed earlier this week by the Ulster Council that if Antrim are the opposition the game will be played in the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.