GAA

46-Year-Old Gets Call-Up To Waterford Senior Football Team

46-Year-Old Gets Call-Up To Waterford Senior Football Team

A long-time dream - one he had likely given up on - came through for Darren Mulhearne last week. At the age of 46, he was called up to the Waterford senior football panel.

"It was last Wednesday. Benji [Whelan], the Waterford manager, gave me a call," the veteran goalkeeper told RTÉ Radio One's Ryan Tubridy Show.

He said, 'Would you like to play football for a couple of months?' To which I answered, 'With who?'

He said, 'With the Waterford team'. I said, 'Oh right. Leave it with me there, will you?' I was in a bit of shock.

I gave him a call back later on and said I'd be delighted to do it. I spoke to Camille, my wife, about it. She said, 'Sure, look, if he thinks you're good enough, give it a shot'.

Inter-county is the highest level. You would have always dreamed to get a call but unfortunately it never happened until a week ago.

I have a chance at getting on a Waterford inter-county team. It's a dream come through.

The call-up came after regular goalkeeper Aaron Beresford dislocated his knee while playing for his club Ballinacourty last month.

Kilrossanty man Mulhearne and Darren Whitty of Gaultier will now fight it out for the number one jersey for the Munster quarter-final against Clare on May 11th.

Mulhearne won his one and only county title with Kilrossanty while still a minor in 1989. That winter, he received a call-up to train with the Waterford senior but his education came first.

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"I went on the panel for winter, pre-season training but, unfortunately, I was doing the Leaving Cert that year and couldn't give the commitment. I left it after a couple of weeks."

"They've gone for a bit of experience," added Mulhearne.

"Playing football for 30 years, you pick up a lot along the way. It would be a big impact on a younger person. Me, I appreciate every time I get to play football because sometime I will have to retire. I don't feel the pressure as much any more. It's a short-term solution.

Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

See Also: Dublin Footballer Paul Flynn Calls Time On Inter-County Career

PJ Browne
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