Peter Boyle . . . wants to concentrate on Aodh Ruadh
While not being selected for Donegal against Kildare played a small part in Peter Boyle's decision to opt out of county football, he says it was only a small part.
The Aodh Ruadh custodian decided to walk away from county football last week after being left out of the Donegal side to play Kildare, with newcomer Shaun Patton getting the nod.
Boyle had taken over from Mark Anthony McGinley after the St. Michael's man picked up an injury during the Dr. McKenna Cup, and he was in goal for the opening three games against Kildare, Galway and Dublin.
However, he decided last week that the commitment needed to be part of the county squad was too much and would have detracted from his commitment to his club for the coming season. Aodh Ruadh won promotion to Division One last year after topping the Division Two table.
"It was a tough decision to walk away, but having to train six days a week nowadays and then not being able to get a place on the team is not easy.
"Not being selected for last Sunday's game against Kildare in Ballyshannon is just a small part of my decision. It is something I have been thinking about for a few weeks now," said Boyle, who added that he wanted to devote his energy to helping Aodh Ruadh, who won promotion back to Division One for this season.
"I just hope to give my time now to Aodh Ruadh. It is a big year for them, back in Division. Not getting to play in goal for Donegal when they were playing on my home pitch on Sunday last was disappointing, but it is not the full picture," said the Aodh Ruadh 'keeper, who felt he had done well for Donegal this year.
"I didn't feel I had done anything wrong and really enjoyed playing in the first three league games for Donegal this year, but walking away is not a decision I have taken lightly.
"I have to think of myself and now I want to give my all for my club. I have been around the county scene since 2011," he said, adding that he was happy with his decision.
"I have had a lot of messages of support and I want to thank all of them.
"2018 will be a big year for Aodh Ruadh. We have been working so hard over the last number of years to get out of Division 3 and then Division 2 and I feel I wanted to give everything this year to ensure we stay in the top flight. And by training with the club and being available to them I will have no regrets whatever happens at the end of the year," said Boyle.
The Aodh Ruadh man first came to prominence in 2010 when Jim McGuinness selected him as his goalkeeper for his U-21 team, when the Ballyshannon man was still a minor. Boyle went on to play his part in Donegal winning the Ulster U-21 title under McGuinness before losing out narrowly to Dublin in the All-Ireland final in Cavan.
After that he was involved in the county squad under McGuinness, Rory Gallagher and this year under Declan Bonner. But for most of that time he has been understudy to Paul Durcan, Michael Boyle and Mark Anthony McGinley.
The arrival of Shaun Patton into the squad prior to Christmas left Donegal with three 'keepers. They each got one game in the early rounds of the Dr. McKenna Cup before Boyle got the nod for the league after McGinley was injured.
But that changed two weeks ago with Patton being selected for the Dr. McKenna Cup final and then for the league game on Sunday week last against Kildare.