Should Donegal need a goalkeeper any time soon then maybe they should be looking to Dublin club, St. Jude’s, where former Convoy ‘keeper, Liam Mailey, has established himself as their No. 1 netminder.
The former Donegal underage and Finn Harps ‘keeper moved to Dublin over a year ago due to work commitments and he transferred to the Templeogue club to continue his football career.
The move has certainly worked out for him as he has been moved up the ranks and is now the No. 1 choice even though there is stiff competition for the jersey.
“My career in the army was the reason for the move to Dublin and I joined St. Jude’s because I knew a few lads there. They are a very welcoming club, maybe unlike some other Dublin clubs, and I was training with the seniors from the start,” said Mailey this week.
There is plenty of competition with John Carthy (son of RTE commentator Brian) and Paul Copeland, both of whom were part of the Dublin senior squad. Copeland was understudy to Stephen Cluxton for a while.
When he got an injury at the end of last year, Mailey got his chance and he has taken it with open arms.
“I have played in the league games and also in two championship matches recently, even though Paul was back in contention.” St. Jude’s, who have Dublin senior footballer, Kevin McManamon, in their ranks, won both their championship games by big margins and will be hoping to advance when the championship resumes later in the year.
“We have league games now for the summer with the championship due to start up again in September.
“The level of competition is similar to intercounty standard. You are coming up against some star players, like facing Paul Galvin, the former Kerry star, with Plunketts last year. It is the highest standard of football that I have ever been involved at,” says Liam.
Indeed, his exploits have not gone unnoticed by the Donegal senior management. “I did get a ‘phone call after Peter Boyle left the Donegal squad but they decided to go with a younger player.
“If Donegal came looking again I would certainly be interested,” says Mailey, who turns 30 this year.
But whatever happens, it seems Liam Mailey is really enjoying his football in Dublin and as age is not a real barrier for ‘keepers, maybe his Donegal career could resurrected.